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Haiti: The Tumultuous History--From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nationby Philippe Girard
Synopses & Reviews
In the aftermath of Januarys horrific earthquake, the worlds attention is focused on Haiti. In this full narrative history of the Caribbean nation, historian Philippe Girard offers insight into Haiti's complex and layered past, showing that its current state as the poorest country in the western hemisphere was not inevitable. This highly readable and accessible history takes the reader back two hundred years to a time when Haiti was so prosperous it was known as the Pearl of the Antilles. Haiti was the only country in the Americas to pull off a successful slave revolution, yet today its survival is completely dependent on foreign aid. As all eyes turn to watch what happens to Haiti, author Girard provides the necessary context for envisioning its future--including a detailed account of the quakes consequences, an assessment of the benefit and cost of an American intervention, and commentary on what Haiti must do to rebuild for a brighter future.
Why has Haiti been plagued by so many woes? Why have multiple U.S. efforts to create a stable democracy in Haiti failed so spectacularly? Philippe Girard answers these and other questions, examining how colonialism and slavery have left a legacy of racial tension, both within Haiti and internationally; Haitians remain deeply suspicious of white foriegners' motives, many of whom doubt Hatians' ability to govern themselves. He also examines how Haiti's current political instability is merely a continuation of political strife that began during the War of Independence (1791-1804). Finally, Girard explores poverty's devastating impact on contemporary Haiti and argues that Haitians--particularly home-grown dictators--bear a big share of the responsibility for their nation's troubles.
About the Author
Philippe Girard is an associate professor of Caribbean History, McNeese State University of Louisiana. A native to the French Caribbean, he is the author of Clinton in Haiti.
Table of Contents
Introduction * The Pearl of the Antilles: Haiti in Colonial Times (1492-1791) * Did Haiti Save the United States?: The Haitian Revolution and the Early American Republic (1791-1804) * Ideal and Pariah: Haiti after Independence (1804-1915) * American Colony: Haiti During the First U.S. Occupation (1915-1934) * Under Papa Doc's Spell: Haiti in the Cold War (1957-1986) * A Glimmer of Hope: The First Aristide Presidency (1990-1991) * The Haitian Invasion of the United States: Haitian Boat People (1991-1994) * In Our Backyard: The Second U.S. Invasion of Haiti (1994) * Beyond the Mountains, More Mountains: The International Community's Failed Development Program in Haiti (1995-1997) * Bayonets Are Made of Steel, Constitutions of Paper: Haiti's Growing Political Instability (1997-2004) * Here We Go Again: Aristide Overthrown (2004) * Conclusion: Is There Any Hope for Haiti?
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History and Social Science » Latin America » Haiti