Book Recommendations

The following recommended list below contains some of the most important texts on three broad areas of study: Haiti in general, Haiti’s national history, and the Haitian Revolution. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. For example, I include few books on religion because I believe this should be a different category of interest and by itself. Another example is that I did not include “The Black Jacobins” (1938) by C. L. R. James on the list since it is the classic text on the Haitian Revolution; hence, I assume everyone should not about it.

I.  Haitian History (i.e. Intellectual History) and the Haitian Revolution (Its International Impact)  

1. Haiti, History, and the Gods by Colin Dayan

2. Haiti: State Against Nation by Michel-Rolph Trouilot

3. The World of the Haitian Revolution by David Patrick Geggus and Norman Fiering

4. Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution by Ada Ferrer

5. Tree of Liberty: Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World by Doris L. Garraway

6. Haitian Revolutionary Studies by David Patrick Geggus

7. The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World by David P. Geggus

8. The Making of Haiti: Saint Domingue Revolution From Below by Carolyn E. Fick

9. A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean by David Barry Gaspar and David Patrick Geggus

10. Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution by Deborah Jenson

11. Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution by Matthew J. Clavin

12. Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution by Sibylle Fischer

13. Haiti: The Aftershocks of History by Laurent Dubois

14. Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment by Nick Nesbitt

15. Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History by Susan Buck-Morss

16. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

17. The Fear of French Negroes: Transcolonial Collaboration in the Revolutionary Americas by Sara E. Johnson

18. The Haitian Revolution: A Documentary History by David Geggus

19. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution by Laurent Dubois

20. Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue by John Garrigus

21. A Colony of Citizens: Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 by Laurent Duboi

22. Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic by Gerald Horne

23. Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865 by Marlene L. Daut

24. The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti Hardcover by Kate Ramsey (University of Chicago Press, 2011)

25. Ainsi parla l’Oncle (1928) (Thus Spoke the Uncle) by Jean Price-Mars

26. Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon by Kiama L. Glover

27. The Idea of Haiti: Rethinking Crisis and Development edited by Millery Polyne

28. The Colonial System Unveiled by Baron de Vastey (Author), Chris Bongie (Translator)

29. Encountering Revolution: Haiti and the Making of the Early Republic by Ashli White  

II.  Haiti, and the International Community  

1. Haiti: Trapped in the Outer Periphery by Robert Fatton Jr.

2. Haiti In The New World Order: The Limits Of The Democratic Revolution by Alex Dupuy

3. From Sugar to Revolution: Women’s Visions of Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic by Myriam J.A. Chancy

4. Haiti and the Americas Edited by Carla Calarge, Raphael Dalleo, Luis Duno-Gottberg, and Clevis Headley

5. Haiti’s Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy by Robert Fatton , R.

6. Haiti and the United States: The Psychological Moment by Brenda Gayle Plummer

7. Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

8. Haiti and the Great Powers, 1902—1915 by Brenda Gayle Plummer

9. Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World: Recognition after Revolution by Julia Gaffield

10. The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934Mar 1, 1995 by Hans Schmidt

11. Clash of Cultures: America’s Educational Strategies in Occupied Haiti, 1915-1934 by Leon D. Pamphile

12. Clash of Cultures: America’s Educational Strategies in Occupied Haiti, 1915-1934 by Leon D. Pamphile

13. Jean Price-Mars, the Haitian Elite and the American Occupation, 1915-1935 by Magdaline W. Shannon

14. Haiti’s Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy by Robert Fatton

15. Haiti: Trapped in the Outer Periphery by Robert Fatton, Jr.

16. Roots of Haitian Despotism by Robert and Jr. Fatton

17. Haitians and African Americans: A Heritage of Tragedy and Hope by Leon D. Pamphile

18. The Prophet and Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the International Community, and Haiti by Alex Dupuy

19. Haiti: From Revolutionary Slaves to Powerless Citizens: Essays on the Politics and Economics of Underdevelopment by Alex Dupuy

20. Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment by Peter Hallward

21. From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti by David Nicholls

22. The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with Haiti, 1776-1891 by Rayford W. Logan

23. From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti, and Pan Americanism, 1870–1964 by Millery Polyné

24. The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier by Amy Wilentz

25. Haiti: The Duvaliers & Their Legacy by Elizabeth Abbott

26. Contrary Destinies: A Century of America’s Occupation, Deoccupation, and Reoccupation of Haiti by Leon D. Pamphile

27. Race, Reality, and Realpolitik: U.S.-Haiti Relations in the Lead Up to the 1915 Occupation by Patrick Delices and Jeffrey Sommers. 

28. Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle by  Gina Athena Ulysse


III. “Haitian History by Haitians: 25 Major Haitian Historians to Read to Really Understand Haiti’s National History and the Haitian Revolution”

I have not intended the recommended list below to be an exhaustive list on the subject matter, but I have selected the most important (classic) works written by Haitian historians in the French language on Haiti’s national history and the Haitian Revolution. My recommendation is limited to twenty-five eminent classic historians. My audience is Haitianists and those have an interest (or are developing an interest) in Haitian studies and Haitian revolutionary scholarship. If the interested reader, historian, or scholar wants to have an exciting adventure about Haiti, why not begin this exploration with Haitian historians themselves to learn about their own perspective about their own history.

1. Valentin Pompée de Vastey, Le système colonial devoile (1814); Notes à M. le Baron de V. P. Malouet … en réfutation du 4ème volume de son ouvrage intitulé: Collection de mémoires sur les colonies, et particulièrement sur Saint-Domingue (1814); Essai sur les causes de la révolution et des guerres civiles en Haïti (1819) / Essai sur les causes de la révolution et des guerres civiles de Hayti (1823/1969).
2. Joseph Saint-Rémy, Vie de Toussaint L’Ouverture (1850); Mémoires du général Toussaint L’Ouverture (1853); Pétion et Haïti, étude monographique et historique. 5 vols. (1854-1857).
3. Thomas Madiou, Histoire d’Haïti. 1847-1848. 8 vol. Révisé et édité (1989-1991).
4. Céligny Ardouin, Essais sur l’histoire d’Haïti (1865).
5. Beaubrun Ardouin, Études sur l’histoire d’Haïti (1853-1860). Edité par François Dalencour. 11 vols.
6. Emile Nau, Histoire des caciques d’Haïti. 2 vols. (1854).
7. Louis-Joseph Janvier, La République d’Haïti et ses Visiteurs (1883); L’Egalité des Courses (1884); Haïti aux Haïtiens (1884); Les Constitutions d’Haïti (1886); Les Jacobins noirs (1949).
8. Alfred Auguste Nemours, Histoire de la captivité et de la mort de Toussaint-Louverture: notre pelerinage à fort de joux (1929); Histoire militaire de guerre d’indépendance de Saint-Domingue (1925); Les Borno dans l’histoire d’Haïti (1926); Les premiers citoyens et les premiers députés noirs et de couleur: la loi du 4 avril 1792, ses précédents, sa première demande à Saint-Domingue, d’après les documents inédits de l’époque, suivi de: Le Cap Français en 1792, à l’arrivée de Sonthonax, d’après les documents inédits de l’époque (1941); La Charte des Nations Unies: Comparaison de la Charte avec les propositions de Dumbarton Oaks, l’alliance de la Société des Nations, les conventions de la Haye, les propositions et doctrines interaméricaines (1945).
9. Horace Pauleus Sannon, Histoire de Toussaint-Louverture. 3 vol. (1920-1933); Haïti et le régime parlementaire (np); Un journaliste sous Boyer (1898).
10. Henock Trouillot, Historiographie d’Haïti (1953); Les origines sociales de la littérature haitienne (1962); Dessalines ou la tragédie post-coloniale (1966); Introduction à une histoire du vaudou (1970); Introduction à une histoire du vaudou (1983).
11. Ernst Trouillot, Demesvar Delorme, le journaliste, le diplomate (1958); Perspectives d’histoire de Saint Domingue et d’Haïti (1961); Code du travail François Duvalier (1980).
12. Jean Fouchard, Les marrons du syllabaire (1953); Plaisirs de Saint-Domingue: Regards sur le temps passé (1955); Langue et littérature des aborigènes d’Ayiti (1972); Les marrons haïtiens: liberté ou mort. Traduit par A. Faulkner (1981).
13. François Dalencour, Précis méthodique d’histoire d’Haïti: Cinq siècles d’histoire – 1942-1930 (1935); Fondation de la République d’Haïti par Alexandre Pétion (1944
14. Dantes Bellegarde, La résistance haitienne (l’occupation américaine d’Haïti) (1937); récit d’histoire contemporaine Écrivains haïtiens: notices biographiques et pages choisies (1947); Histoire du peuple haïtien (1492-1952) (1953).
15. Gérard Mentor Laurent, Six études sur Jean Jacques Dessalines (1950); Toussaint Louverture a travers sa correspondance (1953); Documentation historique pour nos étudiants (1960); Quands les chaines volents en eclats (1979).
16. Georges Corvington, Port-au-Prince au cours des assauts de la révolution (1972).
17. Edner Brutus, Révolution dans Saint-Domingue. 2 vols. (1973).
18. Adolphe Cabon, Histoire d’Haïti. 5 vols. (n.p).
19. Gergard Barthemy, Le pays en dehors: essai sur l’univers rural haitien (1989); Dans la splendeur d’après-midi d’histoire (1996); Créoles-Bosales: conflit en Haïti (2000).
20. Roger Dorsainvil, De Fatras Bâton à Toussaint Louverture (1983).
21. Leslie F. Manigat, Une date littéraire, un événement pédagogique – Essai, Port-au-Prince (1962); L’Amérique latine au XXe siècle: 1889-1929 (1991); Réflexions sur le rétablissement des relations diplomatiques entre Cuba et Haïti (1996).
22. Roger Gaillard, Les cent jours de Rosalvo Bobo (1973); Charlemagne Péralte le Caco (1982); La Guérilla de Batraville (1983).
23. Catts Pressoir, Eléments de géologie d’Haïti (1943); Le protestantisme haïtien (1945); … L’Enseignement de l’histoire en Haïti (1950).
24. Catts Pressoir, Eléments de géologie d’Haiti (1943); Le protestantisme haïtien (1945); …L’Enseignement de l’histoire en Haïti (1950); Haiti: monuments historiques et archeologiques (1952).
25. Timoléon C. Brutus, L’homme d’Airain, étude monographique sur Jean-Jacques Dessalines, fondateur de la nation haïtienne. Histoire de la vie d’un esclave devenu empereur jusqu’à sa mort, le 17 octobre 1806 (1946-7). 2 vols; Revolution de Saint-Domingue. 2 vols. (1973); Les plantes et les légumes d’Haïti qui guérissent: mille et une recettes pratiques (1989). 2 vols.

****The 26-writer bonus: Damase Pierre-Louis, Le President Borno et la Liberation du territoire (1924); Les mensonges de notre democratie (1933); Pouvoir et Politique (1934).

Happy reading and research! 🙂


IV. 100 Best Haitian Novels You Must Read Before You Die

Compiled by Celucien L. Joseph, PhD

1. Stella (1859) by Emeric Bergeaud
2. Francesca (1873) by Demesvar Delorme
3. Themistocle-Epaminondas Labasterre (1901) by Frédéric Marcelin
4. La Vengeance de Mama (Zulma’s Revenge, 1902) by Frederic Marcelin
5. Sena (1905) by Fernand Hibbert
6. La Famille des Pitite-Caille (The Pitite-Caille Family, 1905)
7. Zoune chez sa ninnaine (Zoune at her Godmother’s, 1906) by Justin Lherisson
8. Cruelle Destinee (1929) by Virgile Valcin
9. Le Drame de la terre (The Tragedy of the Land) by Jean-Baptiste Cineas
10. La blanche negresse (1934) by Virgile Valcin
11. Les Horizons sans ciel (Skyless Horizons, 1935) by Jean Brierre
12. Masters of the Dew (Gouverneurs de la Rosee, 1944) by Jacques Roumain
13. La Vie incroyable d’Alcius (Alcius’s Incredible Life, 1946)
14. Parias (1949) by Clement Magloire Saint-Aude
15. General Sun, My Brother by Jacques Stephen Alexis
16. Les arbres musiciens by Jacques Stephen Alexis (Paris: Gallimard, 1957)
17. Romancero aux etoiles by Jacques Stephen Alexis (Paris: Gallimard, 1960)
18. Le mal de vivre (1967) by Nadine Magloire
19. Hadrianna dans tous mes reves by Rene Depestre
20. Allelouia pour une femme-jardin: recits by Rene Depestre
21. The Festival of the Greasy Pole by Rene Depestre
22. H’Eros chimères by Franck Etienne (Port-au-Prince: Spirale, 2002)
23. Ultravocal (spirale) by Franck Etienne (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Gaston, 1972; Paris: Hoëbeke, 2004)
24. Les Affres d’un Defi by Frank Etienne (Port-au-Prince: Henri Deschamps, 1979)
25. Le corps noir by J.-C. Charles (Paris: Hachette, 1980)
26. Bon Dieu Rit by Edris Saint-Amand
27. Une belle amour humaine by Lyonel Trouillot
28. The Street of Lost Footsteps by Lyonel Trouillot
29. Children of Heroes by Lyonel Trouillot
30. Yanvalou pour Charlie by Lyonel Trouillot
31. Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Triptych by Marie Vieux-Chauvet
32. Under the Bone (1994) by Anne-Christine d’Adesky
33. The Pencil of God (Le Crayon de Dieu) by Philippe Thoby-Marcelin and Pierre Marcelin
34. Canape-Vert (Canape-vert) by Philippe Thoby-Marcelin and Pierre Marcelin
35. The Beast of the Haitian Hills (La Bete de Musseau) by Philippe Thoby-Marcelin and Pierre Marcelin
36. The Singing Turtle and Other Tales from Haiti (Contes et legends d’Haiti) by Philippe Thoby-Marcelin
37. All Men Are Mad (Tous les hommes sont fous, 1979) by by Philippe Thoby-Marcelin and Pierre Marcelin
38. The Colour of Dawn by Yanick Lahens
39. Romulus: A Novella from 19th Century Haiti by Fernand Hibbert
40. Les Simulacres (Shamming, 1923) by Fernand Hibbert
41. Searching for Safe Space: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile by Myriam J.A. Chancy
42. The Loneliness of Angels by Myriam J.A. Chancy
43. How to Make Love with a Black Man Without Getting Tired by Dany Laferriere
44. An Aroma of Coffee (L’Odeur du café) by Dany Laferriere
45. Bamboola Bamboche by Jean-Claude Charles
46. Banal oubli by Gary Victor
47. Ce pays qui m’habite by George Anglade
48. The Bonplezi Family: the adventures of a Haitian family in North America by Maude Heurtelou
49. Le negre masque (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie de l’Etat, 1933) by Stephen Alexis
50. Le Choc by Leon Laleau (Port-au-Prince: La Presse, 1932)
51. Le Joug by Annie Desroy (Port-au-Prince: Imp. Modele, 1934)
52. Musique negre by Lelon Laleau (Port-au-Prince: Indigene, 1931)
53. Viejo by M. Casseus (Port-au-Prince: La Presse, 1935)
54. Gerbes pour deux amis (Port-au-Prince: Imp. Henri Deschamps, 1945)
55. L’Heritage Sacre by J. B. Cineas (Port-au-Prince: Henri Deschamps, 1945)
56. Le Choc en retour (The Blacklash, 1948) by Jean-Baptiste Cineas
57. La Case de Damballah by Petion Savain
58. Always Comes the Morning by Yolande Degrand
59. Under the Bone by Anne-Christine D’Adesky
60. Exile and Memory by Emile Ollivier
61. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
62. Krik? Krak! By Edwidge Danticat
63. The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
64. Mother Solitude (Mere Solitude) by Emile Ollivier
65. The Vortex Family by Jean Metellus
66. Les Rapaces by Marie-Chauvet
67. Possedes de la pleine lune by Jean-Claude Fignole
68. Therese en mille morceaux by Lyonel Trouillot
69. Fado by Kettly Mars
70. Le sexe mythique by Nadine Magloire
71. L’enigne du retour by Dany Laferriere
72. Le Mal de vivre (The Pain of living, 1968) by Nadine Magloire
73. Mere Solitude by Emile Olivier
74. Passages by Emile Olivier
75. La piste des sortileges de Gary Victor
76. À l’angle des rues parallèles by Gary Victor
77. Je sais quand Dieu vient se promener dans mon jardin by Gary Victor
78. Les cloches de la Brésilienne by Gary Victor.
79. Le sang et la mer by Garvy Victor
80. L’espace d’un cillement de Jacques S Alexis
81. Cora Geffrard (2011) by Michel Soukar
82. Jacmel au Crépuscule by Jean Metellus (Editions Gallimard: Paris, 1981)
83. La Famille Vortex by Jean Metellus (Editions Gallimard: Paris, 1982)
84. La Dot de Sara by Marie-Célie Agnant (Montréal: Les Éditions du Remue-ménage, 1995)
85. Mémoire d’une amnésique, récit by Jean J. Dominique (Port-au-Prince: Deschamps, 1984; Montréal: CIDIHCA / Éditions du Remue-ménage, 2004)
86. The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat ( New York: Soho Press, 1998; Penguin, 1999)
87. L’heure hybride by Kettly Mars (La Roque d’Anthéron: Vents d’Ailleurs, 2005)
88. Le Testament des solitudes by Emmelie Prophète (Montréal: Mémoire d’encrier, 2007)
89. Le Creuset by Paulette Poujol Oriol (Port-au-Prince: H. Deschamps, 1980)
90. Rosalie l’infâme by Évelyne Trouillot (Paris: Dapper, 2003; Port-au-Prince: Presses Nationales d’Haïti, 2007)
91. La mémoire aux abois by Évelyne Trouillot (Paris: Hoëbeke, 2010)
92. Les dieux voyagent la nuit by Louis-Philippe Dalembert ( Monaco: Du Rocher, 2006; Port-au-Prince: Éditions des Presses Nationales, 2010)
93. Ballade d’un amour inachevé Louis-Philippe Dalembert (Paris: Mercure, 2013)
94. Les terres entourées de larmes by Josaphat-Robert Large (Paris: l’Harmattan, 2002)
95. L’Alphabet des nuits by Jean-Euphèle Milcé (Orbe (Suisse): Campiche, 2004)
96. Manès Descollines by Michel Monnin (Port-au-Prince: Deschamps, 1985)
97. Bicentenaire by Lynoel Trouillot (Arles: Actes Sud, 2004)
98. Aube tranquille by Jean-Claude Fignolé (Paris, Seuil, 1990. – rééd. La Roque d’Anthéron, Éditions Vents d’ailleurs, 2013)
99. Les Possédés de la pleine lune Jean-Claude Fignolé (Paris: Seuil, 1987)
100. Le Peuple des terres mêlées by René Philoctète (Port-au-Prince: Deschamps, 1989)


* The list above is limited to two languages: French and English. in the future, I hope to add the publication date for each individual work listed above.