Deportations on the Anniversary of Toussaint’s Death

It’s been 217 years since Toussaint died of cold, exposure, and neglect on April 7, 1803, at the Fort de Joux, on a high hilltop in the Doubs, France. He’d been arrested treacherously in Haiti by a French ally, and the French then had him transported across the Atlantic on the French frigate Créole, after his arrest in Haiti.

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Masks of the Plague

A plantain leaf, some plastic, and a piece of nylon string, and the Haitian market woman, top, trying to ward off COVID-19, has managed to duplicate part of the 17th-Century costume designed to protect medical men from the plague.

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Foreign Germs

About ten years ago I was in Marseille, writing a travel piece. I love the city, with its great revolutionary history and its twin seaside fortresses intended by the king—with their cannons trained inward on the city—not to keep Marseille safe from invasion by sea but... read more

Baby Doc and Friend

Who is Baby Doc’s friend? The man on the right in this picture looks very familiar to me. Clearly he outlasted Duvalier in Port-au-Prince because I would not recall the face of someone who fled along with Jean-Claude. It’s not Baby Doc’s most trusting face. Who can identify the smiling mystery man?

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Miracle Tree, Coming to a Whole Foods Near You

For decades, people in the development and reconstruction world have told me about the moringa, a fast-growing tree from Africa (originally) that they hail as a cure-all for subsistence economies, and I mean cure-all. This tree, they say, could — once properly... read more

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