Stirring the Pot of Haitian History is the first-ever translation of Ti dife boule sou istoua Ayiti (1977), the earliest book written by Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot. Challenging understandings of two centuries of Haitian history, Trouillot analyzes the pivotal role of formerly enslaved Haitian revolutionaries in the Revolution and War of Independence (1791-1804), a generation of people who became the founders of the modern Haitian state and advanced the vibrant culture that flourishes in Haiti.
Through an examination of such disciplinary keywords, and their silences, as the West, modernity, globalization, the state, culture, and the field, this book aims to explore the future of anthropology in the Twenty-first-century, by examining its past, its origins, and its conditions of possibility alongside the history of the North Atlantic world and the production of the West. In this significant book, Trouillot challenges contemporary anthropologists to question dominant narratives of globalization and to radically rethink the utility of the concept of culture, the emphasis upon fieldwork as the central methodology of the discipline, and the relationship between anthropologists and the people whom they study.
Placing the West’s failure to acknowledge the Haitian Revolution—the most successful slave revolt in history—alongside denials of the Holocaust and the debate over the Alamo, Michel-Rolph Trouillot offers a stunning meditation on how power operates in the making and recording of history. This modern classic resides at the intersection of history, anthropology, Caribbean, African-American, and post-colonial studies, and has become a staple in college classrooms around the country. In a new foreword, Hazel Carby explains the book’s enduring importance to these fields of study and introduces a new generation of readers to Trouillot’s brilliant analysis of power and history’s silences.
In the euphoria that followed the departure of Haiti's hated dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier, most Haitian and foreign analysts treated the regimes of the two Duvaliers, father and son, as a historical nightmare created by the malevolent minds of the leaders and their supporters. Yet the crisis, economic and political, that faces this small Caribbean nation did not begin with the dictatorship, and is far from being solved, despite its departure from the scene. In this fascinating study, Haitian-born Michel-Rolph Trouillot examines the mechanisms through which the Duvaliers ruthlessly won and then held onto power for twenty-nine years.