Academics who study Cuba, Haiti, and the Caribbean are aware of the importance of Haitian migration to Cuba. Yet with the notable exception of a few scholarly articles, our knowledge about Haitian migrants in Cuba has been both superficial and one-dimensional. Superficial because we knew very little about how and why Haitians went to Cuba; one-dimensional because most writing about Haitians in Cuba portrays them as a passive workforce under the complete control of US sugar companies. With the publication of Empire's Guestworkers, we now have a much more sophisticated, nuanced, and, above all, human account about who Haitian migrants were, why and how they left Haiti, and how they forged their own histories under very difficult circumstances. We also get a much clearer picture of how Haitian migration shaped state formation in Cuba and Haiti. This book will be essential...
Book Review|November 01 2018
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Robert Whitney; Empire's Guestworkers: Haitian Migrants in Cuba during the Age of US Occupation. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 November 2018; 98 (4): 757–758. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-7160710
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