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Haiti, History, and the Gods Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0520213685 ISBN-10: 0520213688

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (March 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520213688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520213685
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dayan uses a multifaceted methodology, including careful historical, anthropological, and literary analysis. She paints a frightening portrait of colonial Haiti from legal and religious texts, memoirs, letters, and literary fiction. . . . The light Dayan shines on race, gender, and religion illumines the path from the slave trade to the drug trade to the boat people. . . . She tells the same story three ways: using ritual, fiction, and history. . . . An intriguing way to wander through Haiti's 'cultural imagination.' . . . She evokes a deeply felt mood of Haiti's past and present." -- Commonwealth

"Dayan's book is a brilliant breakthrough in Haitian historiography. She has done for the understanding of the Haitian mind what Perry Miller did for the understanding of the Puritans in his New England Mind (1939)." -- Thomas O. Ott, American Historical Review

"Joan Dayan has written a strange and wonderful book. [It] will be hard to put down once started, so intense and impassioned it is. It is a composite essay that insists on its own unstable, hybrid form. . . . It is also a love-letter to a place and a people, in which the personal surfaces with the unanswered questions of the familiar past. . . . Whether they agree with it or not, future scholars will have to position themselves with regard to a work that meticulously deconstructs every single assumption, upends every single image outsiders have ever held for the past two hundred years about the island, its history, its belief system." -- Clarisse Zimra, Research in African Literatures

"There is much that historians can learn from Dayan's approach to historical sources. . . . Because she sees herself as exploring a 'history beyond the reach of written history,' she has successfully reached for nonwritten sources and found a very revealing one in Haitian voodoo. . . . Her use of popular historical interpretation to complicate nationalist and state representations of revolution will be of interest to scholars of other countries in the region, and perhaps especially to students of Mexico and Cuba." -- Ada Ferrer, Historian

"[A] provocative and demanding book. . . . revealing how Haiti and its history came to reflect a series of particularly European and, more specifically, French preoccupations. . . . Dayan's far-reaching mix of historiography and textual analysis is not confined to foreign perceptions of Haiti, in which the old demons of race, colour, sexual fetishisation, and bondage fantasies crop up relentlessly. She is also interested in trying to reconstruct a more authentically Haitian sense of Haitian history, exploring popular legends, songs, and other elements of a culture where voodoo plays a central role. . . . This is a complex and sophisticated study." -- James Ferguson, The Institute of Race Relations/Race and Class

From the Inside Flap

"By viewing Revolutionary-era Haiti through the lenses of gender and sexuality, Joan Dayan breathes life into an important slice of history."—Karen McCarthy Brown, author of Mama Lola

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Haiti lover on October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here is an essential book on the Haitian Revolution. Its big claim to fame is its use of non-traditional sources (like Vodou foklore) to retrace Haiti's history. Some passages may be of interest solely to graduate students in history (literary analysis, postmodernist 'reading between the lines'), but others are very readable. The part on Mary Hassal, a US witness of the Leclerc expedition, is particularly interesting.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Manora on February 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well documented book It was a little dry reading. I wanted more of a docudrama format. Will continue for more history.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CloakedOne on October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Upon receiving the item, it was in the best possible condition that I could hope for. The book is informative, thought-provoking, and overall a major benefit to my assignment.
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