The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents,
Book Talk: “Haiti Will Not Perish: 2004 – 2016” (forthcoming)
With Michael Deibert, author
Moderated by Severine Autesserre, Member, SIWPS and Professor, Barnard College
Advance registration required via the Columbia and SIPA calendars
Abstract: The world’s first independent black republic, the Caribbean nation of Haiti was forged in the fire of history’s only successful slave revolution, a rebellion that defeated France, one of the world’s great powers at the time, and threw off the yoke of servitude
Today, more than 200 years later, the promise of Haiti’s revolution – a free country and a free people – remains unfulfilled. Home for more than a decade to one of the world’s largest United Nations peacekeeping forces, Haiti’s tumultuous political culture – buffeted by coups, armed political partisans and impunity – has interlinked with economic inequality and environmental degradation to create a difficult landscape even before an apocalyptic 2010 earthquake leveled the capital, Port-au-Prince and killed tens of thousands of people.
The grim tableau, however, is not the whole story. In a moving and detailed history, journalist and author Michael Deibert, who has spent two decades reporting on Haiti, chronicles the heroic struggles of Haitians to build a decent country in the face of what often seem to be the overwhelming odds of both internal and external forces bent on doing ill. 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, challenging and deeply moving analysis of Haiti’s recent history, overturning the myths and distortions about this often misunderstood country.
Bio: Michael Deibert’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, Le Monde diplomatique, Folha de São 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. He is the author of Haiti Will Not Perish: 2004 – 2016 (Zed Books, 2016), In the Shadow of Saint Death: The Gulf Cartel and the Price of America’s Drug War in Mexico (2104), The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (2013) and Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti (2005).
Michael Deibert, 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)
Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti (Seven Stories Press, 2005)