Quick Reads: “Farewell, Fred Voodoo” By Amy Wilentz

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Farewell, Fred Voodoo

By Amy Wilentz


“I prepared to be very, very frightened,” journalist Amy Wilentz writes of a trip to Haiti during the 1994 US military showdown over embattled president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. “Instead, I was dazzled.” That sense of apprehensive wonder imbues this lyrical first-person survey of Haiti’s exposure to “capriciousness and nature’s indifferent hand”—from slavery and thuggery to earthquakes and disease. Creole proverbs abound as she gauges the temperature of Fred Voodoo, Haiti’s version of Joe Sixpack. What emerges is a case study in what Wilentz views as a global erosion of human kindness.

This review originally appeared in our January/February issue of Mother Jones.


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