The world’s first independent black republic, Haiti was forged in the fire of history’s only successful slave revolution. Yet more than two hundred years later, the full promise of the revolution—a free country and a free people—remains unfulfilled. Home for more than a decade to one of the world’s largest UN peacekeeping forces, Haiti has a tumultuous political culture—buffeted by coups and armed political partisans—that combined with economic inequality and environmental degradation, created immense difficulties even before a devastating earthquake leveled the capital of Port-au-Prince in 2010, killing tens of thousands of people.
This grim tale, however, is not the whole story. In this moving and detailed history, Michael Deibert, who has spent two decades reporting on Haiti, chronicles the heroic struggles of Haitians to build their longed-for country in the face of overwhelming odds. Based on years of interviews with Haitian political leaders, international diplomats, peasant advocates, gang leaders, and hundreds of ordinary Haitians, Deibert’s book provides a vivid, complex, and challenging analysis of Haiti’s recent history.
About the Author
Michael Deibert is an author and journalist, whose writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Guardian, and Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He is also the author of Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti.
“An engrossing tour through Haiti’s extraordinary history of survival. Its great strength is Deibert’s sharp ear for Haiti’s many voices, for too long muted by a jaundiced media.”
— Matthew J. Smith, University of the West Indies (Jamaica)
“Deibert brings his journalistic eye and deep affection for Haiti to an unflinching and urgently needed work, documenting the political corruption, culture of impunity and international meddling that have plagued this nation over the past two decades.”
— Carrie Gibson, author of Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean
“Deibert’s exhaustive reportage gets an edge from his righteous anger on behalf of a people with whom he has a deep and abiding connection. An invaluable sourcebook for the period, and also a riveting read.”
— Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti