Haiti Will Not Perish

A Recent History

Michael Deibert


A vivid and up-to-the-minute analysis of Haiti’s recent history, which overturns the myths and distortions surrounding this so often misunderstood country.

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 that revolution – a free country and a free people – remains unfulfilled.

Home for more than a decade to one of the world’s largest UN peacekeeping forces, Haiti's tumultuous political culture – buffeted by coups and armed political partisans – combined with economic inequality and environmental degradation to create immense difficulties even before the devastating 2010 earthquake killed tens of thousands of people.

This grim tale, however, is not the whole story. 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 hundreds of interviews with Haitian political leaders, international diplomats, peasant advocates and gang leaders, as well as ordinary Haitians, Deibert’s book provides a vivid, complex and challenging analysis of Haiti’s recent history.

Author Bio

Michael Deibert's writing has appeared in The Guardian, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Le Monde diplomatique, among others. He has been a featured commentator on international affairs on the BBC, Al Jazeera, Channel 4, France 24, and National Public Radio. He is the author of three books: In the Shadow of Saint Death (2014), The Democratic Republic of Congo (Zed 2013), and Notes from the Last Testament (2005).

Table of Contents

  • Prologue: Storm Clouds
  • 1. Istwa (History)
  • 2. Les Blancs Débarquent
  • 3. Operation Baghdad
  • 4. Deceptions and Delusions
  • 5. The Return
  • 6. Give Us Peace or Rest in Peace
  • 7. Uneasy Neighbors
  • 8. Lavi Chè
  • 9. Plots and Revelations
  • 10. Douze Janvier
  • 11. The Republic of NGOs
  • 12. Plague
  • 13. Tèt Kale
  • 14. In the Kingdom of Impunity
  • 15. Open for Business
  • 16. A Disaster Foretold
  • 17. ‘When They Are President, They Will Understand Me’
  • Epilogue


‘Deibert’s exhaustive reportage gets an edge from his righteous anger on behalf of a people with whom he has a deep and abiding connection. An invaluable sourcebook for the period, and also a riveting read.’
Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti

‘Deibert brings his journalistic eye and deep affection for Haiti to an unflinching and urgently needed work, documenting the political corruption, culture of impunity and international meddling that have plagued this nation over the past two decades.’
Carrie Gibson, author of Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean

‘An engrossing tour through Haiti’s extraordinary history of survival. Its great strength is Deibert’s sharp ear for Haiti’s many voices, for too long muted by a jaundiced media.’
Matthew J. Smith, University of the West Indies (Jamaica)


Publication Date: 15 July 2017
488 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783607983
Hardback: 9781783608638
eBook ePub: 9781783608003
eBook PDF: 9781783607990
eBook Kindle: 9781783608010

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