Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

This book took many years to complete. It is a bittersweet moment for me. The book represents my commitment to Dominican, Caribbean, Latin American, and global prevention of genocide and human rights history. But I regret that some I had hoped to share it with are no longer alive. I...

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Prologue

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pp. xv-xx

During the late 1970s and early 1980s I remember cutting through my elementary school’s auditorium during bathroom breaks. On opposite sides of that assembly hall two portraits hung for everyone to see. On the left, George Washington looking at the viewer, on the right, a black and...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

On January 15, 2010, three days after a devastating 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the U.S. chargé d’affaires, Christopher Lambert, spoke with Dominican media executives in Santo Domingo:
On behalf of the U.S. Government, I want to pass on my compliments...

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1. “The Barbarians Who Threaten This Part of the World”: Protecting the Unenforceable

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pp. 13-35

Borders have always shaped the history of Hispaniola, but they are not always man-made. Hispaniola lies on top of the Caribbean Plate, which presses against the North American Plate. The contact and tension between these tectonic plates resulted in land being pushed to the surface, creating...

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2. “Making Crosses on His Chest” U.S. Occupation Confronts a Border Insurgency

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pp. 36-55

Following the indigenous residents who first settled the island, in the sixteenth century Hispaniola was occupied by European colonial powers. But by the early nineteenth century, the new nation of the United States, as an amateur empire, began to claim some responsibility for the region, while...

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3. “A Systematic Campaign of Extermination”: Racial Agenda on the Border

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pp. 56-83

U.S. Ambassador R. Henry Norweb sent this letter to Secretary of State Cordell Hull in Washington, DC, just days after presenting his diplomatic credentials to Trujillo. This document represents one of the few primary sources corroborating the existence of a massacre in 1937 and signaled...

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4. “Demands of Civilization”: Changing Identity by Remapping and Renaming

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pp. 84-115

In April 1931 on one of several visits to the border, Trujillo told the residents of Dajabón that: “According to the demands of civilization, there should be a favorable change in urban life. Hygiene, education, beautification, police, etc. should unite to make the poor [border] villages disappear...

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5. “Silent Invasions”: Anti-Haitian Propaganda

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pp. 116-149

The 1937 Dominican massacre is unique among twentieth-century genocidal campaigns in that a state-sponsored racist apparatus against the persecuted minority community emerged after a campaign of mass killings.¹ The Holocaust and Rwandan genocides are two notable cases where a state...

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6. “Instructed to Register As White or Mulatto”: White Numerical Ascendency

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pp. 150-159

During the Trujillo period, according to the census, the white population increased and the black population decreased—a reflection of the government’s intent to modernize and to portray a more modern, whiter, and by extension successful state policy to de-Haitianize the border. Racial classification...

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Epilogue. “Return to the Source”

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pp. 160-168

In 1996, at a political rally in Santo Domingo sponsored by the movement Acto Frente Patriótico (Patriotic Front Act), eighty-nine-year-old Dominican President Joaquín Balaguer, one of the most important figures of the Trujillo regime who as undersecretary of foreign relations in 1937 denied...

Notes

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pp. 169-232

Bibliography

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pp. 233-250

Index

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pp. 251-267

Back Cover

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