Hesketh-Prichard, a popular Edwardian English travel writer, sailed to Ha´ti in 1899 to survey the conditions on the island, the first-ever Black-ruled republic. At the time, it was believed no White man had ventured in that mysterious and closed-off part of the world since 1804, after General Jean-Jacques Dessalines ordered the massacre of all the Whites in what was then known as Saint-Domingue. Hesketh-Prichard had opportunity to venture deep into Ha´ti's interior, unknown at the time, and was first to witness the practice of vaudoux (voodoo). He also narrowly escaped with his life, after an attempt was made to poison him. Hesketh-Prichard's observations, narrated in an exquisitely understated tone, cover every aspect of Ha´tian society in 1899, ranging from the grotesque to the tragi-comical - indeed, the reader will experience just about every emotion in the human spectrum as he devours this immensely entertaining book. More importantly, Hesketh-Prichard's account explains why Ha´ti, once one of the most prosperous colonies in the New World, is so profoundly dysfunctional today. It also implicitly explains why the current Third World development paradigm is, however well-intentioned, so profoundly ill-conceived. This new 2012 edition comes complete with an expanded index, contextual footnotes, an introductory essay, and specially commissioned cover artwork by Alex Kurtagic.
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