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Why the cocks fight : Dominicans, Haitians, and the struggle for Hispaniola

Author: Michele Wucker
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 1999.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Like two roosters in a fighting arena, the Dominican Republic and Haiti are encircled by barriers of geography and poverty. They share one Caribbean island, Hispaniola, but their histories are as deeply divided as their cultures: one French-speaking and black, one Spanish-speaking and mulatto. And just as the owners of gamecocks contrive battles between their birds (a favorite sport in both countries) as a way of
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michele Wucker
ISBN: 080903719X 9780809037193 0809097133 9780809097135
OCLC Number: 40200381
Description: xvii, 281 pages : map ; 24 cm
Contents: Map of Hispaniola --
1. Roosters --
2. The Massacre River --
3. The Land Columbus Loved Best --
4. Life on the Batey --
5. Bitter Sugar --
6. The Cockfight --
7. The Old Man --
8. Across the Water --
9. The Other Side.
Responsibility: Michele Wucker.

Abstract:

Like two roosters in a fighting arena, the Dominican Republic and Haiti are encircled by barriers of geography and poverty. They share one Caribbean island, Hispaniola, but their histories are as deeply divided as their cultures: one French-speaking and black, one Spanish-speaking and mulatto. And just as the owners of gamecocks contrive battles between their birds (a favorite sport in both countries) as a way of playing out human conflicts, Haitian and Dominican leaders often stir up nationalist disputes and exaggerate their cultural and racial differences as a way of deflecting other kinds of turmoil.

Michele Wucker's reports on these struggles, both in Hispaniola and in the United States, take us through the haunted mountains where sixty years ago the Dominican dictator Trujillo ordered 30,000 Haitians to be killed, to Vodou rituals in Dominican sugarcane fields where Haitians work as near-slaves, and to ringside at cockfights in both countries as well as in the United States. She focuses especially on the often contradictory policies of the United States toward each nation, which continue to influence the destiny of two important countries and of tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans living in the United States.

Her discussion of these critically important national groups is essential for understanding their contribution to politics in our own country, indeed throughout the Western Hemisphere.

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