Haiti: A Shattered Nation is an extensively revised and updated edition of Haiti: The Duvaliers and their Legacy, an inside account of a country perpetually in headlines and in conflict. Author Elizabeth Abbott, who lived and wrote in Haiti, wrote for non-Haitians, to try to convey through the perspectives of Haitians what Duvalierism was and what legacy it has inflicted on that suffering nation just 700 miles off the coast of Florida.
Haiti begins with the notorious Duvaliers—father and son—and explores their legacy to the present day. Abbott traces the repercussions of their actions to the present day, and the disastrous earthquake that shook the world. Haiti asks - and answers - different questions about the Duvalier presidencies and those that followed. What was Duvalierism and how did it operate? What was life like under Papa and Baby Doc? How did they remain entrenched in power for almost twenty-nine years? Why, a quarter of a century later, does the infrastructural chaos and domestic and international power dynamics of Duvalierism continue to dominate, a toxic legacy that must be understood if its consequences are to be eradicated.
(NB: On January 12, 2010, Haiti was shattered by a massive earthquake. Post-publication, we discovered an uncorrected typo that misdated it the 13th. We apologize for this error and will correct it in future editions.)