Christian Wisskirchen's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Christian Wisskirchen recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Christian Wisskirchen's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Uses of Haiti

The Uses of Haiti tells the truth about uncomfortable matters—uncomfortable, that is, for the structures of power and the doctrinal framework that protects them from scrutiny. It tells the truth about what has been happening in Haiti, and the US role in its bitter fate.—Noam Chomsky, from the introduction

In this third edition of the classic The Uses of Haiti, Paul Farmer looks at what has happened to the health of the poor in Haiti since the coup.

Winner of a McArthur Genius Award, Paul Farmer is a physician and anthropologist who has worked for 25...
Recommended by Christian Wisskirchen, and 1 others.

Christian WisskirchenI am a great fan of Paul Farmer. I think he is amongst the top ten foreigners in Haiti to make a positive and practical contribution there. His charity Partners in Health has saved the lives of innumerable Haitians and is now doing the same in a number of other developing countries. The model has really spread and this is the idea of a community-based health service which takes people seriously... (Source)

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An enthralling journey into the shadowy republic of Haiti. In the land of Vodou, zombies and the Tontons Macoute. In this classic account, history jostles with adventure, high comedy is touched with danger; and Haiti glows like a magic charm.

Now updated and with a new foreword by the author for the post-earthquake edition.
Recommended by Christian Wisskirchen, and 1 others.

Christian WisskirchenThis is one of the best bits of travel writing about Haiti that I have come across. (Source)

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A Haiti Anthology


A Haiti Anthology: libète, edited by Charles Arthur and Michael Dash, mixes contributions from anthropologists, historians, and novelists. It is arranged thematically, with ten chapters covering a wide range of historical and contemporary issues. Each chapter contains an introductory essay, extracts from differing authors, and full bibliographical information. There are over 180 extracts, including work translated for the first time from Haitian Creole and French, as well as excerpts from such authors as C.L.R. James, Alejo Carpentier, P.J. O'Rourke, Edwidge Danticat, and Langston Hughes. less
Recommended by Christian Wisskirchen, and 1 others.

Christian WisskirchenThis book is a deeper introduction to Haiti. (Source)

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The Comedians

Three men meet on a ship bound for Haiti, a world in the grip of the corrupt “Papa Doc” and the Tontons Macoute, his sinister secret police. Brown the hotelier, Smith the innocent American, and Jones the confidence man—these are the “comedians” of Greene’s title. Hiding behind their actors’ masks, they hesitate on the edge of life. They are men afraid of love, afraid of pain, afraid of fear itself... less
Recommended by Christian Wisskirchen, and 1 others.

Christian WisskirchenI have chosen this book because it is set in what is probably the third most traumatic period of Haiti’s history. The first was the extermination of the Tainos—who were the original inhabitants of Haiti— after Christopher Columbus landed in 1492. The second traumatic time was the Haitian revolution between 1793 and 1804 and the third one was the period of the Duvalier dictatorships and the rule... (Source)

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In 1789 the West Indian colony of San Domingo supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France. The entire structure of what was arguably the most profitable colony in the world rested on the labour of half a million slaves. In 1791 the waves of unrest inspired by the French Revolution reached across the Atlantic dividing the loyalties of the white population of the island. The brutally treated slaves of Saint Domingo seized at this confusion and rose up in rebellion against masters. In thisclassic work, CLR James chronicles the only successful slave revolt in history and provides a... more

Ben HorowitzA management and cultural genius better than anybody that I’ve ever read about or learned from. (Source)

Christian WisskirchenThe book highlights the achievement of the Haitian nation to be the only ever slave revolution achieving independence by armed struggle. (Source)

Trevor PhillipsThis book is very complex because it does not make the rebellion’s leader, Toussaint L’Ouverture, into a sort of plaster saint. (Source)

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