The first independent nation in the Caribbean, Haiti is also the poorest. This volume in Greenwood’s Histories of the Modern Nations series provides a substantial introduction to the history and culture of an island nation the size of Maryland. After a three-page timeline beginning with Columbus and ending with the reigning presidency of René Préval, the opening chapter offers a snapshot of the country’s history, geography, politics, economy and culture. Subsequent chapters examine “Early Haiti (1492–1804),” Independence and Empire (1804–1843),” “The Pre–Occupation Era (1843–1915),” “The American Occupation of Haiti and Its Aftermath (1915–1957),” “Political Culture (1957–1986)” and “Social and Economic Reality (1986–2006).” Appendices include notable people in Haitian history, a glossary of selected terms and a bibliographic essay. The chapters build on a central theme to make the case that the history of Haiti is one of instability, dominated by an authoritarian political culture that has largely prevailed over a competing culture of peace. This volume would be useful in geography and world history courses, especially those emphasizing slavery, colonialism, imperialism and Caribbean politics. Recommended for high school, public and college libraries.