Haiti: The Tumultuous History - From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation
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Haiti: The Tumultuous History - From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  19 reviews
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...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade (first published December 11th 2005)
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Erik
Girard has nailed it. If I were going to write a book on Haiti (where I have been resident for a year), this is what it would have looked like (in my imagination obviously; in reality it would have been nowhere near as good). This is part history, part socio-economic analysis, part advocacy. I suspect that many would charge, some Haitians in particular, that the narrative is too soft on the damaging effects of foreign intervention and I would sympathize with that view. However the political elit...more
Shawn
I read this history in anticipation of a trip to Haiti this summer. Reading Haitian history is a foray into the fallibility of the human soul. Rectification of Haitian problems will require a change in the hearts of all those that reside in or deal with this troubled nation

Columbus & Spanish Domination

Christopher Columbus arrived on Haiti’s northern coast in 1492 and landed in a magnificent natural harbor that he named Mole Saint-Nicolas. From there, Columbus made his way East to the bay wh...more
Evamaria
Oh, my poor Ayiti Cheri - reading this comprehensive history of the nation, from its colonial past to its struggling present, made me want to cry several times. Girard explained many things I noticed during my two months volunteering and manages to do so very honestly but also with great affection and respect for Haiti's people.

When I try to tell people why Haiti is in such a bad state, that it's not as simple as saying "Slavery/Western imperialism/US interference did it", I always say that ever...more
Valentina
A good, comprehensive yet brief, compendium of Haitian history, all the way from the country's discovery by Western imperial powers in the late 15th century to its struggle with poverty, corruption, and earthquake-related devastation today.

It's a very pleasant, quick read, written in a simple, journalistic-type prose, and through a character-driven narrative that makes this book a page-turner.

And it also has some very interesting, useful insights for someone who wants to try to understand Haiti...more
Kelly
Feb 25, 2014 Kelly added it
As I stated in my review I submitted for class, this book is completely devoid of anything resembling good scholarship. This book should never be read by anyone. It is not even worth one star
Kim
Highly readable, broad strokes history of Haiti. Exactly what I was looking for to put Aristide in context and learn a little more about this wretchedly poor country. The title seems quite appropriate. The author even details a sort of 'check list' to recovery, which is a reminder that change is possible if not easy. Well done.
Colleen
Good overall primer on Haiti (although you kind of get the sense that Girard just really doesn't like Haiti at all. Maybe it's just me).
Carolyn
Incredibly sad and frustrating history. Very worth the read if you plan to go on a missions or aid trip. The title is dead on about it being a tumultuous history filled with an unbelievable amount of internal and external destruction.
Danielle
I absolutely loved this book and felt that it is the book for anyone who wants to understand who Haiti used to be, who she is now, and why! It was extremely interesting and well written and I really enjoyed it!
Elizabeth
An interesting and readable account of Haiti's history since colonization. The reason for my low rating is the author's pro-American slant, along with a lot of generalizations about both Haitians and Americans.
Pete van Genne
A sobering read. Girard describes well the up and down history of this fascinating country, and sums it all up with his prescription for Haiti to turn herself around. I wish I could share his optimism!
Nishant
A pretty good primer on Haiti's history. Need to take the author's very one-sided view -- that Haitians are at fault for everything -- with a pinch of salt. But accessible and very readable.
Dave
I've been to Haiti twice and this filled in a lot of the social/political story that I did not know. It's rich with details. The only thing missing is the religious history.
Springer
Excellent and thorough history of Haiti that seems to do a good job of presenting the Haitian and an outsiders point of view on things.
Valerie
I liked the factual aspects of the book, but wish the author had kept more of his opinions to himself.
Andrew
Very thorough and insightful description of Haiti's history and current problems.
Becca Christensen
Rich in history and useful in prep to visit. Also appealed to my 'social worker' side.
Robert
Very good primer on the history of Haiti and why it is what it is today
Chris Cooper
Good, concise history of Haiti. Recommended!
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