Academic journal article Journal of Haitian Studies

An Unbroken Legacy: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President

Academic journal article Journal of Haitian Studies

An Unbroken Legacy: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President

Article excerpt

An Unbroken Legacy: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President. By Randall Robinson. New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2007. 280 pages.

The author is best known as a founder and leader of Trans-Africa, a lobbying group based in Washington that campaigned on behalf of the interests of African and Caribbean nations. In that capacity he captured headlines some years ago when he engaged in a dramatic hunger strike protesting the mistreatment of refugees from Haiti in the U.S.

The book at hand is part memoir and part history, providing an often dramatic account of the fall from power in 2004 of his close friend and ally, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who is now in exile in South Africa. Given the recent dislodging from power of his patron President Thabo Mbeki-who lost his post as head of the ruling African National Congress, though he continues to rule the nation until 2009 -it is unclear how long Aristide will be able to reside there, raising the possibility of his return to the Caribbean.

By early 2004, the author had moved to St. Kitts, where his spouse had roots, though she continued to work as a lobbyist for the Haitian government. It was because of her association and his past labors on behalf of Haiti that he was ineluctably drawn into the unfortunate events that led to Aristide's loss of power. Robinson is highly critical of the respective roles of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, two leading appointees of U.S. President George W. Bush.

The story is told in cinematic style with brief, punchy chapters that switch seamlessly between and among various world capitals. …

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