Recommended Reading


USAID Health Systems Profile
This document provides an overview of developments and reforms in the health sector of the Dominican Republic.

Minority Rights Group International: Migration in the Caribbean
Published in 2003, this report describes human and minority rights abuses experienced by migrant workers within the Caribbean. It highlights the issues facing migrant workers of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.

Derby: Haitians, Magic, and Money
An article on race and society in the Haitian-Dominican Borderlands, 1900 to 1937.

Martinez: Not a Cockfight
In response to Michele Wucker’s “Why the Cocks Fight: Dominican Haitians and the Struggle for Hispaniola,” this article rethinks Haitian-Dominican relations, and the power struggle on the island.

Gavigan: Beyond the Bateyes
A report written for the National Coalition for Haitian Rights in 1995 describing the changing social, economic, and historical human rights issues for Haitians living in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Crackdown Leaves Children of Haitian Immigrants in Legal Limbo, New York Times, May 25, 2008
The story of a Dominican boy of Haitian descent who cannot obtain a birth certificate.

Heck, Bazemore, Diller: The Shoulder-to-Shoulder Model – Channeling Medical Volunteerism Toward Sustainable Health Change
One organization’s model for connecting short-term medical volunteers with communities in resource-poor countries, from a family medicine perspective.

Books about the Dominican Republic & Haiti

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Díaz)
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction tells the life of a Dominican-American teenager growing up in New Jersey interwoven with the stories of Dominican history, culture, politics, and transnationalism.

The Farming of Bones (Edwidge Danticat)
A historical fiction recounting Trujillo’s 1937 massacre of Haitians through the eyes of a Haitian woman working for a powerful Dominican family.

In the Time of the Butterflies (Julia Alvarez)
A novel inspired by the real life story of the Mirabel Sisters, courageous revolutionaries who fought against Trujillo’s dictatorship.

Why the Cocks Fight (Michele Wucker)
An introduction to many things Hispañola, including race, politics, culture, US policy, borders, and more.

Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (C. L. R. James)
The definitive account of the Haitian Revolution of 1794-1803, when a barely literate slave named Toussaint L’Ouverture led the black people of San Domingo in a successful struggle against successive invasions by overwhelming French, Spanish, and English forces and in the process helped form the first independent nation in the Caribbean.

Life in a Haitian Valley (Melville Jean Herskovits)
Groundbreaking anthropological account of Haiti as a tragic and revolutionary nation as told through the microcosm of the village Mireabalais.

The Feast of the Goat (Mario Vargas Llosa)
A work of historical fiction that intertwines the stories of Dictator Trujillo on the day of his assassination, a Dominican ex-patriate living in modern-day New York City, and the various revolutionaries involved in the plot to kill Trujillo in 1961.

Books about the Caribbean

Democracy in the Caribbean: Political, Economic, and Social Perspectives (Jorge I. Dominguez, Robert A. Pastor, and R. DeLisle Worrell, eds.)
An analysis of the political strengths and weaknesses in the Caribbean that have led to the predominance of democratization, this book provides historical perspectives, case studies, anomalies, and strategies for future programs in the region to address political, social, and economic issues.

From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492-1969 (Eric Williams)
A definitive work by the former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago about a profoundly important but neglected and misrepresented area of the world.

Caribbean Transformation (Sidney Mintz)
Always writing with care and elegance, and basing his arguments on an unparalleled range of fieldwork in the area and superb social and cultural reconstructions, this may be Mintz’s most important book to date.

Books about International Health & Development

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time (Jeffrey D. Sachs)
Jeffrey Sachs, former economic advisor to the UN, sets out a detailed plan to eliminate extreme poverty by 2025. He portrays the ethical, political and economic reasons why the modern world should battle global poverty while also dissembling common myths about developing nations and the poor.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (John Perkins)
John Perkins, a former “economic hit man” from the United States, writes about his former duties, describing “highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as Empire but one that has taken on terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.”

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (Anne Fadiman)
A non-fiction account of how a Hmong family in California navigates culture and language divides within the modern American medical system.

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