The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier

Amy Wilentz, Author
Amy Wilentz, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-64186-3
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
In 1986, Jean-Claude ``Baby Doc'' Duvalier, Haiti's ``president-for-life,'' was forced to flee his country. A military junta had seized power, and the widespread feeling of unrest that had been brewing for years among the Haitian peasantry and the urban poor came to a boil, resulting in chaos: mass strikes, riots and other forms of violence. Wilentz's first book carefully, sensitively narrates these events in the first person, providing historical background when necessary, and telling the stories of Haitians from all walks of life, from the infamous ``Tontons Macoute''--a ruthless government-sponsored vigilante group--to voodoo priests (who speak at length of their magic), and including government officials, missionaries, intellectuals, workers and the unemployed. The former Time reporter's numerous visits to the island between 1986 and 1988 enrich her account with details of daily life, both in the dilapidated alleys and slums of Port-au-Prince and in remote villages tucked away in lush tropical mountains. Her vivid record of an important piece of contemporary world history captures the sad political and quotidian existence of an impoverished albeit physically beautiful country. (June)
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