The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster

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Macmillan, Jan 8, 2013 - History - 306 pages
2 Reviews

On January 12, 2010, the deadliest earthquake in the history of the Western Hemisphere struck the nation least prepared to handle it. Jonathan M. Katz, the only full-time American news correspondent in Haiti, was inside his house when it buckled along with hundreds of thousands of others. In this visceral, authoritative first-hand account, Katz chronicles the terror of that day, the devastation visited on ordinary Haitians, and how the world reacted to a nation in need.

More than half of American adults gave money for Haiti, part of a monumental response totaling $16.3 billion in pledges. But three years later the relief effort has foundered. It’s most basic promises—to build safer housing for the homeless, alleviate severe poverty, and strengthen Haiti to face future disasters—remain unfulfilled.

 The Big Truck That Went By presents a sharp critique of international aid that defies today’s conventional wisdom; that the way wealthy countries give aid makes poor countries seem irredeemably hopeless, while trapping millions in cycles of privation and catastrophe. Katz follows the money to uncover startling truths about how good intentions go wrong, and what can be done to make aid “smarter.”

With coverage of Bill Clinton, who came to help lead the reconstruction; movie-star aid worker Sean Penn; Wyclef Jean; Haiti’s leaders and people alike, Katz weaves a complex, darkly funny, and unexpected portrait of one of the world’s most fascinating countries. The Big Truck That Went By is not only a definitive account of Haiti’s earthquake, but of the world we live in today.

 

  

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Review: The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster

User Review  - Erica Shipow - Goodreads

Very interesting and important read. I think it would be easy to overwrite a book like this, but Katz does a really good job of letting a lot of the facts and events and people speak for themselves ... Read full review

Review: The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster

User Review  - Susan - Goodreads

One of the best books about Haiti next to Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains. Katz understands and unpacks the complexity of Haiti without paternalizing the country and its people. He takes ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Prologue
5
One The End
13
Two Love Theme from Titanic
35
Three Blan and Nèg
53
Four The Crossroads
67
In Louisville
87
Five Spoiled Corn
93
Nine Sugar Land
171
Miracle Falls
189
Ten Face to Face
197
Eleven A Gut Feeling
217
Twelve Cardboard Palace
245
Thirteen All Together Now
263
Epilogue Memwa
277
Notes
283

Six Bon Dola
109
Seven The Governor
135
Eight When I Get Older
155
Acknowledgments
299
Index
301
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

JONATHAN KATZ is the 2010 recipient of the Medill Medal of Courage in Journalism and the 2012 winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award for this book. He has written for the AP for six years, reporting on the Mexican drug wars, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the battle that is Washington politics. He was stationed in Haiti for nearly three and a half years and was the only American reporter in the country when the earthquake hit on January 12, 2010. He routinely appears as an expert on Haiti for television and radio, with interviews on ABC news, BBC World Service, WNBC, NBC Nightly News, NPR, CBC Television, and Democracy Now. Currently he's an editor for the Associated Press based in New York.

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