Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957, a book by Dr. Matthew Smith, a lecturer in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica), has won the Gordon K and Sybil Lewis Award for Best Book on the Caribbean, published 2008-2009.
The citation read at the awards presentation ceremony in Barbados, noted the book’s “wonderfully lucid presentation” and “pan-Caribbean appeal as it situates contemporary Haiti historically and crosses cultural, language and national borders to show a certain unity to the Caribbean“.
Smith’s book has been hailed as “the first comprehensive political history of post-occupation Haiti“. In it, he traces developments in Haiti between 1934 and 1957, the end of United States occupation and the rise of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, which he described as “the greatest moment of political promise … the political experience of radicalism in Haiti from 1934-1957, with its expansion of historical struggles and tensions, foreshadowed developments elsewhere in the Caribbean and may therefore be regarded as an important chapter in the history of Caribbean resistance“.
The Gordon K and Sybil Lewis Award is named for the late distinguished historian, Gordon Lewis and his wife. In order to be considered for the award, nominated books should reflect “a subject or aspect of Caribbean life, conditions and situations from an interdisciplinary perspective“, should have regional impact and must be written in any of four major languages of the Caribbean – English, Dutch, French or Spanish. Books are judged on originality, depth, and breadth of research, advance of methodology or theory and the extent to which a pan-Caribbean problem or issue is addressed.
You may purchase Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 online @Amazon.