New Book: “Haiti and the Uses of America”


Haiti and the Uses of America: Post-U.S. Occupation Promises, by Chantalle F. Verna, is now available at Rutgers University Press. Kate Ramsey (author of The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti) describes it like this: “This groundbreaking, deeply researched, and richly rewarding study illuminates that Haitians were key agents of inter-American connection and collaboration during the mid-twentieth century. Chantalle F. Verna rethinks Haiti’s relation to the United States at that time by asking complex questions and reaching nuanced insights that seem just as relevant and important with reference to today.”

Description (Rutgers University Press): Contrary to popular notions, Haiti-U.S. relations have not only been about Haitian resistance to U.S. domination. In Haiti and the Uses of America, Chantalle F. Verna makes evident that there have been key moments of cooperation that contributed to nation-building in both countries.

In the years following the U.S. occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), Haitian politicians and professionals with a cosmopolitan outlook shaped a new era in Haiti-U.S. diplomacy. Their efforts, Verna shows, helped favorable ideas about the United States, once held by a small segment of Haitian society, circulate more widely. In this way, Haitians contributed to and capitalized upon the spread of internationalism in the Americas and the larger world.

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