Hesketh Prichard, a popular Edwardian-era English travel writer, sailed to Haiti in 1899 to survey the conditions on the island, the first-ever Black-ruled republic. At the time, it was believed no White man had ventured in that mysterious and closed-off part of the world since 1803, after General Jean-Jacques Dessalines ordered the massacre of all the Whites in what was then known as San Domingue. Prichard had opportunity to venture deep into Haiti’s interior, unknown at the time, and was first to witness the practice of vaudoux (voodoo). He also narrowly escaped with his life, after an attempt was made to poison him. Prichard’s observations, narrated in an exquisitly understated tone, cover every aspect of Haitian society in 1899, ranging from the grotesque to the tragi-comical—indeed, the reader will experience just about every emotion in the human spectrum as he devours this immensely entertaining book. More importantly, Prichard’s account explains why Haiti, once one of the most prosperous colonies in the New World, is so profoundly dysfunctional today. It also implicitly explains why the current Third World development paradigm is so profoundly flawed.
This new 2012 hardback edition is complete with an expanded index, contextual footnotes, a 50-page introductory essay, and specially commissioned cover artwork by Alex Kurtagic, who also did the covers for Mister and the Wermod and Wermod editions of The Revolt Against Civilization, The French Revolution in San Domingo, and The Passing of the Great Race. It contains all of the original illustrations.