In this essay Matthew J. Smith revisits the central arguments made in Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934–1957 and explains their relevance in understanding Haiti's political course since the Duvalier era. He responds to the essays of Millery Polyné and Michael Deibert, and addresses some of the comments made by others about the book. The importance to Haitian history of the years following the end of the US occupation is emphasized, as are the lessons of this much overlooked past. These lessons, Smith argues, provide a useful framework for contemplating developments in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

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