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 the revolution—a free country and a free people—remains unfulfilled. 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 years of interviews with Haitian political leaders, international diplomats, peasant advocates, gang leaders, and hundreds of ordinary Haitians, Deibert’s book provides a vivid, complex, and challenging analysis of Haiti’s recent history.
Michael Deibert first began visiting Haiti in 1997, and his writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, Le Monde diplomatique, Folha de Sao Paulo and the World Policy Journal, among other venues. He has been a featured commentator on international affairs on the BBC, Al Jazeera, Channel 4, France 24, National Public Radio, WNYC New York Public Radio and KPFK Pacifica Radio. In 2012, he was awarded a grant from the International Peace Research Association and, in 2008, he was selected as a ﬁnalist for the Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism, sponsored by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, both in recognition of his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the author of three previous books: In the Shadow of Saint Death: The Gulf Cartel, and the Price of America's Drug War in Mexico (Lyons Press, 2014),The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (Zed Books, 2013) and Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti (Seven Stories Press, 2005).