Our latest review covers the 2013 book, The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster by Jonathan M. Katz.
The book is written by a journalist who was working in Haiti prior to, during, and after the 2010 earthquake. His firsthand account covered the terror experienced as the earthquake happened, then all the relief and recovery actions after the disaster. He then began to delve into the systemic problems with the earthquake pledge money, the misguided efforts to create an industrial park north of Port-au-Prince, the cholera outbreak introduced by UN soldiers, and finally, the presidential race that elected Sweet Mickey Martelly.
The book was a readable, interesting account of events with lots of personal commentary. It drew in elements from history and culture and presented a deeper understanding of the country than one would get from simply a historical account of the earthquake.
If you’re looking for a little bit of everything “Haiti” – disaster, corruption, culture, yet hope – give this one a try.