Invite you to help launch Dan Whitman's new book
Friday, February 11, 2005, 5:308:00 p.m.
DACOR Bacon House, 1801 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20006
Reasons for attending:
Natalie Hill at CCD, (202) 7899771 or click here
François Jean at the Haiti Democracy Project, (202) 5888700,
or click here
|Whitman holds a Ph.D. in French (Brown University), and served for the
U.S. State Department in Denmark, Spain, South Africa, and Haiti. In
Washington he was Cultural Coordinator in the Africa Bureau, and
Program and Coordination Officer for the European Bureau. He is now
deputy director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Africa Bureau,
Department of State.
His forty articles range in topic from current affairs, African culture,
and profiles of Europe to cultural leaders on three continents. They
have appeared in Musicus, Parabola, The New York Times, The Foreign
Service Journal, The Strad, and Research in African Literatures, among
His books are Kaidara, a presentation and study of a thousand-year-old
African folk epic; Madrid Inside Out, a guide to residence for foreigners
in Spain; and One Step Up, a manual for buyers of stringed instruments.
|Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in
19992001, Daniel Whitman believed that the three elections of 2000
could advance Haiti's democracy and its development from the bottom
rung as poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. He was wrong; they
did not. Local supremacists killed, torched and rushed to fraud while
foreigners forgave and even blessed the electoral debacles without posing
the resistance even of meaningful public comment.
However, seeds also germinated to make Haiti one day fit for its
inventive, humor-loving and too-often betrayed people. The effort was
kept alive largely by Haiti's gritty journalists, going into hiding when
necessary for their survival, but newly organized in October of 1999 into
a tenacious and daring national federation. The nationwide Haitian
Press Federation advanced against all odds, and held eight regional
meetings which changed political discourse forever in Haiti.
The country now enters a post-Aristide interlude. A Haiti Chronicle
offers recent context for understanding Haiti's current crisis, and
Jean-Bertrand Aristide came; he liberated; he turned bad; he
left for unknown horizons on February 29, 2004. He received extraordinary
amounts of aid much of it personal from foreign governments.
When those governments asked blandly and condescendingly that he behave better,
he turned enfant terrible, offering them a vulnerable smile, waiting for their
airplanes to leave his airport, then cracking down with ever greater severity
on his own people. Often the victims of the killings, beatings, and destruction
of property were taken totally at random . . .
As the rebels closed in on Port-au-Prince in February of 2004, the U.S. government unilaterally proclaimed Aristide as the free and fairly elected president of Haiti, brushing aside prior statements to the contrary by the U.N., OAS, EU, and the previous White House, NSC and State Department. In response, Haitians dusted off their ingenious word plays for the world to note, saying Colin pa wel (Colin didnt see it).
They proceeded to greet a group of two hundred or so rebels enthusiastically on their sweep from Cap-Haïtien to Port-au-Prince in February of 2004, seeing them as liberators all the way. As the Haitian witticism had it, retreating police were called on the carpet by their boss, but answered, But Sir, we were weak and he outnumbered us!
From the chapter, The Crocodile of the Route de Delmas
Jean Dominique made mincemeat of any interview guest he did not like. Recklessly perhaps, I took up the gauntlet and went on his program with him February 8, 2000.
|Dominique. Your congressmen keep coming here to visit.
Why all this sudden interest in Haiti? Are they mere visits or are they
. . . ?
Whitman. Were trying to help, not take the place over.
Dominique. Some suspect that you are trying to do just that: Take us over.
Dominique tried leading me down the alley of the U.S. Government having a dog in the Haitian race coming up.
Whitman: I vow we have neither a Satan nor a Saint in this race. We want only for Haitians to be able to express their preferences freely and without intimidation.
How it Happened
Jockeying: The Horse Falters
Man Versus Pig
July to October, 1999
My First Issue
The Golden Age
October, 1999 to February, 2000
On the Road
The Crocodile of the Route de Delmas
Things Fall Apart
February to May, 2000
Nails in the Coffin
"Manus, Not Minus"
Léon Manus, June 21, 2000
The Lavalas Fist
April to November, 2000
"Hell Hath No Fury . . . "
The Hornet Dozes
Other Side of Obstinacy
December, 2000 to July, 2001
December, Bloody December
Breakfast and Tony Lake
The Eight Points
FRAPH Docs, Fusion International, and Two New Presidents
Time of Troubles
"And So it Goes . . . "
What I Learned
What, Whither, Why Haiti?
On Haitian Intransigence
A Note onVodou
A Short Comment on Haitian Art
The Rich Creole Language
A Personalized Bibliography
"This book by Daniel Whitman is grippingon the one hand,
| "This is the first book to explain clearly what has happened in
over the last few years. The violence is chronicled, catalogued, and
dissected. The fear it spread over a largely defenseless population is
revealed. If you want to know what it was like to experience day by day
the unfolding of a major U.S. policy debacle, read this book, the only
one to convey the enormity of the disaster that overtook Haiti during
19992002. A splash of cold water especially for sectors in American
politics who have averted their gaze for so long. This book removes the
last excuse for them to do so."
Director, Haiti Democracy Project
| "If you want to understand contemporary Haiti, the real Haiti
beneath all the cant and propaganda, then the single best book to
read is Dan Whitman's fascinating A Haiti Chronicle."
Jeffrey Paine, author of Re-enchantment, Father India, and The
Poetry of Our World
| "Dan Whitman's fascination for Haiti and its people has led to
remarkabale account of events which, like others, have marked our
country's two hundred years of turbulent history. This is a testimony of
couragecourage to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth."
Marie Lourdes Elgirus
President, Fondation Femmes en Démocratie (Vital Voices, Haiti chapter)
Founder and Coordinator, Toussaint-King Center for Nonviolence in Haiti
New Book Availability Notification from TRAFFORD PUBLISHING
Title: A Haiti Chronicle: The Undoing of a Latent Democracy,
To order this book, click here. This book is now available for purchase.
RATHER PHONE IN YOUR BOOK ORDER?
In USA & CANADA please call:
|Robert R. LaGamma
1801 F St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
phone (202) 7899771 | fax (202) 7899764
2303 17th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
phone (202) 5888700 | fax 5888711