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Summary Of Mary A. Renda's Taking Haiti

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In the book Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, author Mary A. Renda discussed the United States occupation of Haiti between the years of 1915 and 1934. When the United States decided to move into Haiti for military occupation, it wanted to establish not just control of the country, but it also wanted to secure its interests there. American politicians and many marines viewed Haiti through a racist lens and viewed their people and government as inferior. They believed the nation required a helping hand from the United States. American politicians justified the tactics of forced labor, economic manipulation by American politicians, and murder by the marines, as part of the paternalistic policy it had implanted there. Renda’s main thesis was how the idea of paternalism and the military occupation in Haiti not only affected the Haitian people and the country itself, but also how it affected the culture and mindset of Americans. When the United States began the occupation in Haiti, it was more focused on preventing any further involvement from other nations. Germany had been involved in financing a lot of revolutionaries within the country,…show more content…
I also liked the fact that she used diaries, memoirs and congressional testimonies, to show how the occupation affected both the Haitian people and the American marines. As a reader, you are able to read and see clearly how both racism and imperialism in Haiti created this influence in art and literature in the United States. The author does a great job of showing both perspectives from the marines and the Haitian people towards each other. I would have preferred more personal stories from the Haitian people, especially from Haitian women. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about the occupation from those that were involved and affected by
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