Recommended Dominican History Book/Documentary

Alltimegreat

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Nov 16, 2012
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I'm looking for an unbiased and relatively in-depth book/documentary on Dominican history that is written in English by an English native speaker. The ones I've come across so far have either been poorly written/produced or downplay/omit the dictatorships resulting from Haitian and US invasions and occupations, instead focusing excessively on how Haitians fared under Trujillo.
 
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NALs

Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
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There is a law that prohibits referring to Trujillo in a positive light only whether it’s written or spoken. For this reason you will notice that in books, interviews/TV shows they either keep a negative tone on Trujillo or if they say something positive it’s quickly followed by something negative. Many time they also include something making it clear they don’t support dictatorship, repudiate Trujillo, etc. It isn’t always clear if the person is being sincere or not because that is a law that is enforced. Also, the book published by Angelita Trujillo a few years ago is banned and that was quickly placed within days the book cameout and became the bestseller. lol Don’t think of taking the book to the DR since it can be bought abroad, but at the airport aduana will confiscate it and they can even arrest the passenger (I know of a case of a Dominican from New Jersey that took a copy and was arrested in the DR simply for that.) So, don’t expected a balanced view about anything that has to do with Trujillo in the DR.

There is a movement being created that wants that law to be eliminated since by this time it’s more than twice as long thsn what lasted the Trujillo dictatorship and a law like that actually makes sense in the immediate years after it ended. But don’t expect that to get anywhere any time soon.

Freedom of speech has a limit in the DR. You don’t see the US government banning any books regardless how much it’s anti-government. But that’s the difference between having actual freedom of speech and a freedom of speech that isn’t real since it has a limit!

The book of Aida Trujillo was allowed and is still for sale in Dominican bookstores, but read the book and it does cast him in a disfavorable angle. Makes sense!

If you want to get other books where they don’t have an intentional negative bias, you need to get it abroad and read it while abroad. Never take it to the DR. You have to read the positive and the negative books on Trujillo since both will lie and tell the truth, but of different things. That’s the only way to get as close to how it was and in the DR this is impossible.
 

aarhus

www.johnboyter.com
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There really isn’t a lot out there. I read an English translation of the history of the Dominican Republic by Frank Moya Pons. That must be the best option.
 

keepcoming

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There is a book written about the Marine occupation of the Dominican Republic (I think it is called Marines in the Dominican Republic?) back in the early 1900's, it was interesting. My son read the Saints of Santo Domingo and said he thought it was a good book to read.
 

aarhus

www.johnboyter.com
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Wasn’t there anymore books available on DR history? I have also been looking. It really seems limited.
Haha Hijo de Manolo. Even when I don’t participate in the main threads going on about tipping and whatever you still find a way to troll me with an Emoji You must be obsessed with me. Are you in the closet or something?
 
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aarhus

www.johnboyter.com
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There is a book written about the Marine occupation of the Dominican Republic (I think it is called Marines in the Dominican Republic?) back in the early 1900's, it was interesting. My son read the Saints of Santo Domingo and said he thought it was a good book to read.
I will have a look at that. I have also been trying to find something where both the history of the DR and Haiti is included.

By the way nice with a thread that is actually useful for something.
 
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NanSanPedro

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Boca Chica
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I went on Goodreads and searched on the topic of Hispaniola. There were over 100 selections. I bought "The Imagined Island: History, Identity, and Utopia in Hispaniola" by Pedro L. San Miguel. I think it was 305 pages with the Spanish version published around 1999 and the English version in 2005. I'll do a book report once finished.
 

NALs

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Wasn’t there anymore books available on DR history? I have also been looking. It really seems limited.
Most are in Spanish, so English only speakers are left out from much of what exist.

The most recent one was by Orlando Inoa about Ulises Heureaux, one of the DR’s president and dictator. That too is in Spanish only. Unlike most history/biography/etc books of the DR or someone related to the DR, this one is actually available in Amazon.

IMG_4245.jpeg


The OP wants books in English and written by an English native speaker. Good luck with that.
 
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Lucifer

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Jun 26, 2012
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That’s not true. You became the quintessential Dominican apart. You’re in Miami shaking it up. You made it.
Sir, I have no reason to lie: I met Mr. Díaz at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. And he DID encourage me to pursue my passion. However, I’m not good enough, and too, too freakin’ lazy to do anything else.

Now, on the “Dominican apart” part: you’ve used that line a couple of times now. I only wonder if you were asked to refrain from calling me Uncle Tom again.
 
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El Hijo de Manolo

It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!
Dec 10, 2021
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Dominican Republic
Sir, I have no reason to lie: I met Mr. Díaz at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. And he DID encourage me to pursue my passion. However, I’m not good enough, and too, too freakin’ lazy to do anything else.

Now, on the “Dominican apart” part: you’ve used that line a couple of times now. I only wonder if you were asked to refrain from calling me Uncle Tom again.
You see how paranoid you've become! I was expressing my opinion that you have, in fact, amounted to something, despite your comment that you hadn't 😔 I certainly wouldn't challenge that you had met various other Dominicans apart in person!
 

Joseph NY2STI

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@NALs had posted something interesting from this book a while back so I bought it. I found a leather bound hardcover reprint on abebooks.com that was shipped from India of all places. It was published in 1914 so "today" does not mean today. It's obviously written well before Trujillo, but it's an interesting read nonetheless if history is your thing.

Porto Rico.jpg
 

Lucifer

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Jun 26, 2012
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You see how paranoid you've become!
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the Bronx tough guy comes and cancels you...


Dude, you should learn to respect folks' posts. This is NOT about you.
As the Bronx tough guy that you are, I'm sure you can respect the original poster's inquiries into Dominican history.
 
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