DESCRIPTION : Haitian boat people have been in the
news since the early 1980s, and are part of a much longer migration
history between the world's first black republic and the United
States. The vast majority of Haitians are desperately poor rural
residents ; Haitian Americans, on the other hand, are concentrated
along the urbanized Atlantic seaboard and are not ensnared in
poverty. Haitians : migration and diaspora uses U.S.
census and Haitian interview data, coupled with a broader analysis
of Haitian rural conditions and the effects of foreign and domestic
policy on their movement, to underscore the need for a comprehensive
rural strategy for economic development in Haiti. Such a strategy,
Catanese argues, is vital for improving the lives of Haitians
and removing the impulse for leaving their preferred rural domiciles.
The book begins in the early
1980s, after almost twenty-five years of Duvalierism, when rural
Haitian were beset by several important migration and refugee
issues : pig extermination and repopulation, deforestation
and reforestation, and the 1990s embargo by the U.S. and its
allies. After examining how Haitians responded to and were affected
by these centrally important issues, the author proposes an array
of ways to make rural Haiti livable for its people. Finally,
the issue of Haitian Americans is addressed.