The Haiti Reader

History, Culture, Politics

Book Pages: 544 Illustrations: 63 illustrations, incl. 17 in color Published: January 2020

Caribbean Studies, General Interest > Travel, History > Latin American History

While Haiti established the second independent nation in the Western Hemisphere and was the first black country to gain independence from European colonizers, its history is not well known in the Anglophone world. The Haiti Reader introduces readers to Haiti's dynamic history and culture from the viewpoint of Haitians from all walks of life. Its dozens of selections—most of which appear here in English for the first time—are representative of Haiti's scholarly, literary, religious, visual, musical, and political cultures, and range from poems, novels, and political tracts to essays, legislation, songs, and folk tales. Spanning the centuries between precontact indigenous Haiti and the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, the Reader covers widely known episodes in Haiti's history, such as the U.S. military occupation and the Duvalier dictatorship, as well as overlooked periods such as the decades immediately following Haiti's “second independence” in 1934. Whether examining issues of political upheaval, the environment, or modernization, The Haiti Reader provides an unparalleled look at Haiti's history, culture, and politics.


“Bravo to this editorial collective! With its span from early history to the present, this reader is set to demolish the distorted myths from reality in ways that will undoubtedly disrupt the incessant narratives of exceptionalism plaguing the first Black Republic. This is a revelatory and textured collection of Haitian modernity that brings more of Haitian studies out of exile into the world, and which will become referential for years to come, both in and out of the classroom.” — Gina Athena Ulysse, author of Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, Me, and the World

The Haiti Reader is a remarkable resource for all those who want to learn more about Haiti and its history, politics, literature and culture. Filled with primary sources, some translated here for the first time, this book is a vital and urgently needed guide to an often maligned and misunderstood yet magnificent country.” — Edwidge Danticat, author of Brother, I'm Dying

"This well-crafted and welcome addition includes a carefully chosen selection of about 80 mostly short but telling entries on Haiti. . . . This book will prove invaluable for anyone researching Haiti’s past and its recent present across the usual political, social, and cultural dimensions." — R. I. Rotberg, Choice

"Those who have not had the pleasure of browsing a Haitian bookstore, combing through archives on Haiti, or taking a class on Haitian writers… will find that The Haiti Reader provides a helpful and well-curated sampler of Haitian thought, literature, and history.… This book is a gift to the English-language world and provides a taste of the richness of Haitian thought and experience since the revolutionary founding of the nation." — Anna Versulis, Journal of Historical Geography


Availability: In stock
Price: $29.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Laurent Dubois is Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University. 

Kaiama L. Glover is Professor of French and Africana Studies at Barnard College. 

Nadève Ménard is Professor of Literature at the École Normale Supérieure, Université d’État d’Haïti. 

Millery Polyné is Associate Professor of History at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. 

Chantalle F. Verna is Associate Professor of History and International Relations at Florida International University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  xiii
Introduction  1
I. Foundations  7
II. The Second Generation  67
III. The Birth of Modern-Day Haiti 127
IV. Occupied Haiti (1915–1934)  177
V. Second Independence  251
VI. The Duvalier Years  307
VII. Overthrow and the Aftermath of Duvalier  389
VIII. Haiti in the New Millennium  449
Suggestions for Further Reading and Viewing  513
Acknowledgment of Copyrights and Sources  519
Index 527
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0677-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0516-2