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.
This work represents the documentation of a hypothesis, developed in the course of two decades of research. That the scientific study of the Negro and attempts to meliorate the interracial situation in the United States have been handicapped by a failure to consider adequately certain functioning aspects of Negro life has become increasingly apparent as this investigation has gone on. Problems in Negro research attacked without an assessment of historic depth, and a willingness to regard the historical past of an entire people as the equivalent of its written history can clearly be seen to have made for confusion and error in interpretation, and misdirected judgment in evaluating practical ends.