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 that 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's tumultuous political culture - buffeted by coups and armed political partisans - combined with economic inequality and environmental degradation to create immense difficulties even before the devastating 2010 earthquake killed 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 hundreds of interviews with Haitian political leaders, international diplomats, peasant advocates and gang leaders, as well as ordinary Haitians, Deibert's book provides a vivid, complex and challenging analysis of Haiti's recent history.
Michael Deibert's writing has appeared in The Guardian, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Le Monde diplomatique, among others. He has been a featured commentator on international affairs on the BBC, Al Jazeera, Channel 4, France 24, and National Public Radio. He is the author of three books: In the Shadow of Saint Death (2014), The Democratic Republic of Congo (Zed 2013), and Notes from the Last Testament (2005).
Prologue: Storm Clouds 1. Istwa (History) 2. Les Blancs Debarquent 3. Operation Baghdad 4. Deceptions and Delusions 5. The Return 6. Give Us Peace or Rest in Peace 7. Uneasy Neighbors 8. Lavi Che 9. Plots and Revelations 10. Douze Janvier 11. The Republic of NGOs 12. Plague 13. Tet Kale 14. In the Kingdom of Impunity 15. Open for Business 16. A Disaster Foretold 17. `When They Are President, They Will Understand Me' Epilogue