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9533: Old but useful list of books on Haitian history
>From Bob Corbett
I was going through some old files today and came across this
old list. I have no time now to update it, but I thought I'd
share it with you. If any note missing items, and particularly
contemporary works, I'd love to hear and I can note them now and
add them later when I have more time.
There has been some call for what history books are
available about Haiti. The answer is almost none are
actually available. Most are out of print and very
difficult to find. Below is a list of books which have been
written about Haiti and some comments on some of them
This list is in no way exhaustive. I'm just sitting in front of many of
my books and selecting some which I think are most noteworthy.
P.S. Virtually all the books and articles mentioned below
are in my library.
One more note: I am going to skip the books which are
primarily on the colonial period and the Haitian Revolution.
As one person posted, these books are available and in many
libraries. It is the history of later periods that is not
Baur, John Edward. "Faustin Soulouque, Emperor of Haiti:
His Character and His Reign." Americas 6 (1949):
p. 131-166. Focus on the rule of Soulouque.
Balch, Emily Greene, ed. OCCUPIED HAITI. New York: Writers, 1927 An
excellent book of essays by various authors, mainly unfavorable
toward the US Occupation.
Bausman, Frederic, et al. THE SEIZURE OF HAITI BY THE
UNITED STATES. New York: Foreign Policy Assoc.
A huge work with lots of documentation. An important
work on the first occupation.
Bellegarde-Smith. HAITI: THE BREACHED CITADEL. Boulder
Colo. Westview, 1990.
See the review I posted yesterday on this newsgroup.
Chandler, John. BRIEF NOTICES OF HAYTI: WITH ITS CONDITIONS, RESOURCES
AND PROSPECTS. London: War 1842.
Sort of interesting eye witness account. Not too accurate, but
Davis, H.P. BLACK DEMOCRACY: THE STORY OF HAITI. Rev. ed.
New York: Biblo and Tanner, 1936.
This is my second favorite history, after Heinl and Heinl. It
is a solid history with some great charts and lists in the back.
Diederich, Bernard and Al Burt. PAPA DOC: THE TRUTH ABOUT
HAITI TODAY. New York: McGraw Hill, 1969.
Also known as PAPA DOC AND THE TONTON MACOUTE.
A journalistic, but very very useful account of the
horrors of Papa Doc's early years.
I do have a few copies of this for sale too.
Dorsinville, Max H. "Haiti and Its Institutions: From
Colonial Times to 1957" In THE HAITIAN POTENTIAL:
RESEARCH AND RESOURCES OF HAITI. [See Rubin et al, below)
Ferguson, James. PAPA DOC, BABY DOC: HAITI AND THE
DUVALIERS. Oxford, Eng. Basil Blackwell. 1987.
A good and useful book.
Greene, Graham. THE COMEDIANS. A novel which really
conveys the darkness of the Papa Doc period. This
book got Greene banned for life from Haiti.
I do have copies of this novel for sale, both in
paper and hard bound.
Healy, David. GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY IN THE WILSON ERA: THE
U.S. NAVY IN HAITI, 1915-1916. Madison: U. Of Wisc.
This is a fascinating account of the first year of the
first occupation. Healy puts forward the thesis that
Admiral Caperton was virtually abandoned by Washington,
and that in large measure the invasion and early occupation
was his own doing, assuming he was doing the
will of Washington.
Heinl, Robert Debs, Jr. and Nancy Gordon Heinl. WRITTEN
IN BLOOD: THE STORY OF THE HAITIAN PEOPLE, 1492-1971.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978.
This is certainly THE best history of Haiti ever written in
English. Like others I have urged Nancy
Heinl to bring the book out in a reprint, and while
she is certainly willing she has not found a publisher
willing to publish this huge volume.
Heinl, Robert Debs, Jr. "Are We Ready to Intervene in Haiti?" Reporter
34, no. 11 (1966) 26-28.
Interesting. Some in the US were contemplating an
invasion and occupation in 1966!
Laguerre, Michel S. VOODOO AND POLITICS IN HAITI. NY:
St. Martin's, 1989.
See the review of this book I recently posted on this
Leger, J.N. HAITI HER HISTORY AND HER DETRACTORS. Westport
Connecticut: Negro University Press, 1970 reprint of
a 1907 book.
This is an excellent history, though a bit favorable
to the mulatto class. The book is in large measure
a response to Sir Spencer St. John's notorious book.
See St. John, below.
Logan, Rayford W. THE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS OF THE UNITED
STATES WITH HAITI 1776-1891. Chapel Hill: Univ. of
NC Press, 1941.
An awesome scholarly work. Not to be missed.
MacKenzie, Charles. NOTES ON HAITI: MADE DURING A RESIDENCE IN THAT
REPUBLIC. 2 Volumes. London: Cass, 1971 reprint of a 1830 work.
Good for the period it covers.
Marshall, Harriet Gibbs. THE STORY OF HAITI: FROM THE
DISCOVERY OF THE ISLAND BY CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS TO
THE PRESENT DAY. Boston: Christopher, 1930.
I don't know this book and don't have it in my
library. I would LOVE to find a copy.
McCrocklin, James H. GARDE'HAITI: TWENTY YEARS OF ORGANIZATION AND
TRAINING BY THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. Annapolis, Maryland:
Naval Institute: 1956
An amazing book on the US building of the Haitian
Army. Given what happened to this army in subsequent
history the book is even more amazing.
Montague, Ludwell Lee. HAITI AND THE UNITED STATES, 1714-
1938. Durham, NC, Duke U. Press, 1940.
A simply AWESOME work of scholarship. This book can't
be missed by anyone wanting to understand US - Haitian
relations over the years.
THE NATION MAGAZINE: Special note. During the first occupation of
Haiti THE NATION led the anti-occupation front here in the US.
Dozens of articles, close to 100, appeared over the years and The
Nation can take a major credit for bringing the US to an eventual
anti-occupation stance. This is especially interesting given that
today the two strongest anti-occupation pieces in mainstream
literature have appeared in The Nation!
Nicholls, David. ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE AND POLITICAL AUTONOMY: THE
HAITIAN EXPERIENCE. Reprinted in: HAITI IN CARIBBEAN CONTEXT:
ETHNICITY, ECONOMY AND REVOLT. New York: St. Martin's, 1985
Very good book, typical of Nicholls' careful scholarship and good
Nicholls, David. FROM DESSALINES TO DUVALIER: RACE, COLOUR
AND NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE IN HAITI. Cambridge, Eng.
Cambridge U. Press, 1979.
This is an excellent book, but it is not as much a history as
a historiography -- that is a book about the histories of Haiti.
Nonetheless, one gets lots of straight history and a good read.
Paquin, Lyonel. THE HAITIANS: CLASS AND COLOR POLITICS.
Brooklyn: Multi-Type, 1983.
This is a strange book. The main bulk of the book, from the
beginnings of Haitian history to about 1960
is really a good book. Then Paquin went into exile in
New York and the rest of the book is horrible, a sort
of gossipy book about himself and his plans to return
to Haiti as the next Emperor!
I do have some copies of this paper back for sale.
Plummer, Brenda Gayle. (I don't have her book here with
me, but she has an excellent book on the foreign
policy of Haiti and American connection up to 1902.)
Rotberg, Robert. HAITI: THE POLITICS OF SQUALOR.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971.
An important book which does not have a very favorable
assessment of the potential of Haitians to run their
country with any efficiency.
Schmidt, Hans. THE UNITED STATES OCCUPATION OF HAITI,
1915-1934. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers U Press, 1971.
This is THE history of the first occupation. Very
and he uses Marine Corps document themselves to damn the
St. John, Spenser. HAYTI: OR THE BLACK REPUBLIC. London,
Smith Elder, 1884.
An infamous work, extremely racist and even was the
source of the myth that Voodoo included human sacrifice. Leger's
book, see above, was a response to this book, a book Haitian
Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. NATION, STATE AND SOCIETY IN HAITI,
1804-1984. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars, 1985.
I've never seen this work. If anyone knows about it,
please let me know, and, of course, I'd love to get a
copy for my library.