The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934

The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934

The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934

The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934


"A good history of a sordid intervention that submitted a people to autocratic rule and did little for economic development." --The New York Times "From Schmidt we get the full details . . . of the brutal racist practices inflicted on the Haitians for nearly all of the nineteen-year American presence in the country." --American Historical Review "The only thoroughgoing study of one of the more discreditable American interventions overseas." --Journal of Interdisciplinary History "Should become the standard work on the subject. . . .required reading for specialists in Caribbean studies and U.S.-Latin American relations." --Choice Hans Schmidt taught form many years at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He now teaches at the University of Hong Kong.


"Those who do not study the past," the great American philosopher and historian George Santayana once observed, "are condemned to repeat it."

Forty years after the end of the first American occupation of Haiti, with the Armed Forces of the United States once again in possession of Port-au-Prince, this new edition of Hans Schmidt's definitive account of the United States occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934, could not have come out at a more timely moment. For those currently responsible for our Haitian policy, as well as those who genuinely care about American policy toward the Caribbean, this seminal assessment of what brought about the original U.S. intervention in Haiti, and what went wrong with it, should be a mandatory assignment.

Prior to the most recent American intervention in Haiti, those opposed to the use of force were not at all shy about referring to our previous effort to advance U.S. interests in Haiti by military means. Having gotten bogged down earlier in the century, the critics suggested, there was every reason to believe we would once again end up being stuck in Haiti for decades. Yet keeping Santayana's sage advice in mind, what most forcefully strikes a reader of Schmidt's trenchant analysis is the extent to which the differences between the first and second American interventions in Haiti are far more significant than the similarities.

For one thing, the historic contexts in which the two interventions took place were entirely different. in the early part of the century, the United States was engaged in a kind of imperial competition . . .

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