From the Preface:
We came initially to Haiti drawn by Brian Weinstein's interest in language and Arron Segal's interest in population. These research concerns have broadened, and in the present volume we attempt to analyze the entire political system. The theme of the book is that Haiti is a political failure but a cultural success. Its political system has consistently failed to provide liberty, justice, participation, or welfare except for a privileged few. Its abandoned, exploited and disdained peasants, whose labor permits the economy to function, have formulated and nurtured an interesting and productive culture which gave them the strength to survive while providing Haiti with a clear, well defined national identity. Economic, ecological, and political changes threaten the system, but Haitian culture is likely to endure.