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The Big Truck That Went By
 
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The Big Truck That Went By
How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
 
08 Jan 2013
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£16.99
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230341876
||
 
 
29 Apr 2014
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£10.99
|Paperback Not Yet Published
  
9781137278975
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

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.


Description

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.


Reviews

'In a book that is an absorbing mixture of memoir, reportage and investigation, Katz tries to find out how the global relief effort backfired so badly and what happened to the money raised.' -Ian Birrell, The World Today
 
'a vivid and disturbing account of how international aid donors, the United Nations and celebrity do-gooders tripped over themselves to help [after the Haitian earthquake] but ended up doing more harm than good' - Times Literary Supplement
 
'The Big Truck That Went By is supremely valuable for collecting the chatter, statistics and anecdotes into a damning dossier...' - London Review of Books
 
"Katz offers a frank insider's guide to Haiti; he describes the frustrations of dealing with high-handed bureaucrats, self-appointed camp leaders misappropriating aid, even scams by his own Haitian staff and contacts. Katz is at his best describing two of his own investigations: tracking the likely source of a cholera outbreak...and identifying the conflicts of interest of a top official. The book's reportage is complemented by musings on the ethical dilemmas of journalism..." - Financial Times
 
"The book includes a compelling description of the earthquake and of the devastation Katz witnessed as he attempted to drive through Port-au-Prince that night. It also makes a decent stab at explaining the book's subtitle, How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster" - The Times
 
"A fascinating account of national and international political maneuvers after the earthquake in Haiti and the strategies of ordinary Haitians in the struggle for daily existence" - Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs magazine


Contents


Authors

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.