Haiti is a country that provokes strong responses and Libete is the perfect introduction to the wide variety of voices that have commented on the country and its history. Inevitably, there is much tragedy to relate both in the brutal history of slavery and in the later oppression and exploitation of the Haitian peasantry by the wealthy elite and the consistent interference from successive U.S. governments, which sadly continues to this day. Each chapter focuses on a particular topic, drawing on around 20 different commentators, both foreign and Haitian. Many of these are contemporary reports, relating true life stories from the city streets and country villages, showing a life that many people living in affluent Western culture simply have no concept of at all. Yet the story of Haiti is also one of struggle and courage in the face of adversity and these voices are clearly heard as well in Libete. Many good people working in small ways to the best of their ability to improve life for the poor, who form such an overwhelming majority. Another message that comes through the book is that it is this majority who constitute the soul of Haiti, which is so vibrantly expressed in Haitian culture. In the section on literature, it is significant that Haitian authors, largely drawn from the elite class, either celebrate peasant culture or despise it - it is clearly too strong to simply ignore. Vodou is also an integral part of this culture and the extracts included reflect the diversity of attitudes towards this much maligned spiritual tradition. One of my favourite sections is the selection of proverbs, amongst which is "Money goes where money is" which seems to sum up current economic theory very neatly. Buy this book and find out how the majority live!