This article examines the benefits and limitations of radicalism in Haiti during the post–US occupation period—1934–57. This critical and underexplored period, which Matthew J. Smith examines in his Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934–1957, brought about a reevaluation of political and economic ideas, laws, and relationships critical to the development of the nation-state. Additionally, post–US occupation was one of several key moments when a notion of a new Haiti proved fruitful for activists and thinkers of the day, who believed in the transformation of Haitian society. This idea of a “new” Haiti, which is rooted in nineteenth- and twentieth-century independence struggles and political and economic challenges, resounds in the current postearthquake era.

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