Books

See the "Book reviews" section of this website for reviews of many of the books listed below.

Beverly Bell; Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti's Divide; Cornell University Press, June 2013 (more information here).

Jonathan Katz; The Big Red Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster; 290 pp, Palgrave Macmillan, January 2013.

Justin Podur; Haiti's New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation; 208 pp, Between The Lines, October 2012.

Mark Schuller; Killing with Kindness Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs; 194 pp, Rutgers University Press, October 2012.

Mark Schuller, Pablo Morales, ed.; Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake; 271 pp, Kumarian Press, January 2012.
This is a collection of essays by leading Haitian and international voices and activists in the struggle to chart a new course for Haiti following the earthquake, one based on political sovereignty and social justice. 

Jeb Sprague; Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti. Monthly Review Press, 375 pp, August, 2012.
In this path-breaking book, Jeb Sprague investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people. Sprague focuses on the period beginning in 1990 with the rise of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the right-wing movements that succeeded in driving him from power. Over the ensuing two decades, paramilitary violence was largely directed against the poor and supporters of Aristide’s Lavalas movement, taking the lives of thousands of Haitians... Read more.

Laurent Dubois; HAITI: The Aftershocks of History; 434 pp. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company, January 2012. $32.
Published in January 2012, this book traces Haiti's post-independence political and economic history with a view to explaining why Haiti has never been able to develop the lasting democracy and economic progress that its people are so obviously desirous of achieving. 

Dr. Paul Farmer; Haiti After The Earthquake. New York, Public Affairs books, July 2011.
The co-founder of Partners In Health looks at Haiti one year after the earthquake and delves into the history of intervention by foreign powers in Haiti that caused the country to be so vulnerable to the catastrophe of January 12, 2010.

Peter Hallward; Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment. New York, Verso, 2007. New edition with a post-earthquake postscript published in 2011.
Haiti as laboratory for the 'politics of containment', and the war against the Lavalas Movement in historical context.

Timothy Schwartz; Travesty in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud food aid and drug trafficking. Self published, 2008.
An anthropolgist's personal story of working with foreign aid agences.

Yves Engler & Anthony Fenton; Canada in Haiti: Waging war on the poor majority. Vancouver BC, Red Publishing, 2005.
The first account of the Canadian government’s role in the 2004 coup d'etat against Jean-Bertrand Aristide and elected government in Haiti, and its support to the foreign-imposed regime that followed.

Randall Robinson; An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President. New York, Basic Civitas Books, 2007.
An account of recent and past history of Haiti by an associate of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, including the author's participation in the mission that rescued Aristide from his kidnapping by U.S. Marines on February 29, 2004.

Noam Chomsky, Paul Farmer & Amy Goodman; Getting Haiti Right This Time: The U.S. and the Coup. 2004.
Transcripts of interviews conducted live during the 2004 coup, and two essays on its historical context. (Interviews on archive at: www.democracynow.org).

Jean-Bertrand Aristide; An Autobiography; 1992, translated and published in English in 1993, Orbis Books, 205 pp.

Dr. Paul Farmer; The Uses of Haiti. Common Courage Press, 1994 (3rd edition, 2006).
The history of Haiti up to the 1991 coup and of America’s policy towards Haiti and Haitian immigrants. Also features case studies of individual Haitians.

Tracy Kidder; Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World. New York, Random House, 2004.
"A masterpice...an astonishing book that will leave you questioning your own life and political views..."--Nicholas Thomas, USA Today.

Laurent Dubois; Avengers of the New World. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2004.
A history of the Haitian Revolution, 1791-1804, with a focus on the political interplay between the Haitian and French Revolutions.
From the book's back cover, by Robin Blackburn: "There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books about the Haitian Revolution, but only a handful are indispensable. Avengers of the New World joins that select company. A powerful narrative informed by the latest research, it digs beneath ready-made notions--whether of purely heroic rebels or implacable caste hatreds--to bring to light the forging of new identities and new ideals."

Ed. David Patrick Geggus and Norman Fiering; The World of the Haitian Revolution, Indiana University Press, 2009, 419 pp.
This is a rich collection of essays by leading historians of Haiti examining different aspects of Haiti's 1804 revolution. The essays are drawn from presentations to a conference at the John Carter Brown Library (Brown University) marking the bicentenial of the Revolution.

CLR James; The Black Jacobins. 1938; 2nd edition, New York, Vintage, 1989.
Classic study on the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804.

Jeremy D Popkin; You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
The abolition of slavery in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue in 1793 and in revolutionary France in 1794 were the first dramatic blows against an institution that had shaped the Atlantic world for three centuries and affected the lives of millions of people. Based on extensive archival research, You Are All Free provides the first complete account of the dramatic events that led to these epochal decrees, and also to the destruction of Cap Francais (Cap Haitien), the richest city in the French Caribbean, and to the first refugee crisis in the United States. Taking issue with earlier accounts that claim that Saint-Domingue's slaves freed themselves, or that French revolutionaries abolished slavery as part of a general campaign for universal human rights, the book shows that abolition was the result of complex and often paradoxical political struggles on both sides of the Atlantic that have frequently been misunderstood by earlier scholars.

Robin Blackburn; The American Crucible, Slavery Emancipation and Human Rights. Verso Books, 2011.
Unlike many histories of slavery in the Americas, Robin Blackburn's new book places the Haitian Revolution at the center of its narrative.
From an interview with the author, May 2011: "The American Crucible is an overview of the entire rise and fall of the slave regimes of the Americas from the early sixteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. My previous two books on slavery in the New World covered a substantial part of that period but did not deal with the rise and fall of the nineteenth century slave systems in Cuba, the United States, and Brazil. The Crucible seeks to explain why slavery could continue to grow even after suffering defeat in the Caribbean and in the former Spanish colonies." 

Carolyn Fick; The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below (1991)
From a review on Amazon: How to follow in the footsteps of a great historian? One answer is found in this important successor to CLR James's Black Jacobins. Fick effectively honors James's legacy by expanding the scope of inquiry to encompass the "self-activity" of historical actors at all levels of Haitian society. Where Black Jacobins stressed the key role of revolutionary leaders, Fick documents longstanding patterns of everyday resistance and marronage from which the 1791 revolution drew great strength. Her work restores popular agency to the forefront of Haiti's epic history---and James's contribution remains secure, not least due to superior literary merit. From Robin Blackburn’s The American Crucible (2011): "This remains an important work for grasping the meaning of the Haitian Revolution."

Madison Smartt Bell; Toussaint Louverture, A Biography. New York, Vintage, 2008. 
"An excellent introduction to one of the great, if elusive, personalities of history."--Boston Review.

Dr. Matthew J Smith; Red & Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957. University of North Carolina Press, 2009. 
The first comprehensive history of the post-Occupation era, arguing that 'the period from 1934 until the rise of dictator François "Papa Doc" Duvalier to the presidency in 1957 constituted modern Haiti’s greatest moment of political promise.'

R. Lawless; Haiti’s Bad Press: Origins, Development, and Consequences. New York, Schenkmann Press, 1992. 
A critique of the media’s depiction of Haiti as a perpetual ‘failed state.’

J. Ridgeway; The Haiti Files: Decoding The Crisis. Washington DC, Essential Books, 1994. 
Edited compilation that unpacks the first coup against Aristide.

M-R Trouillot; Haiti: State Against Nation: The Origins and Legacy of Duvalierism. New York, Monthly Review Press, 1990. 
The Duvalierist state and the ideology of the Haitian ruling class.

Amy Wilentz; The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier. New York, Simon & Schuster, 1989. 
A journalist's anecdotal account of the rise of the Lavalas movement.

Hans Schmidt; The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, 1971.

 

For a comprehensive compilation of reviews of books on Haiti, many written by Bob Corbett, see here:
http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/bookreviews/bookreviews.htm.


En Français

Voir la section dans ce site web http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/node/402.

Publié dernièrement :
Mer et liberté; et Aux origines du drame d’Haiti; droit et commerce maritime; Vertus Saint-Louis; Port au Prince 2009 et 2008 resp.

Genèse de l’État Haïtien (1804-1859); Michel Hector and Laennec Hurbon; Port au Prince 2009.

Escavlage, métissage et liberté : la révolution française en Guadeloupe, 1789-1802; Frédéric Régent; Paris 2004.