Jared Diamond Explains Haiti’s Enduring Poverty

Jared Dia­mond, the Pulitzer Prize-win­ning author of Guns, Germs & Steel (and Col­lapse: How Soci­eties Choose to Fail or Suc­ceed), offers some time­ly thoughts on why Haiti, once a fair­ly pros­per­ous coun­try, has sunk into endur­ing pover­ty — a con­di­tion not com­par­a­tive­ly shared by its neigh­bor on the same island, the Domini­can Repub­lic. Accord­ing to Dia­mond, Haiti’s envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions offer a par­tial expla­na­tion. But you will also find clues in the coun­try’s lan­guage, and in the lega­cy of slav­ery that has shaped Haiti’s eco­nom­ic rela­tion­ship with Europe and the US. This inter­view — quite a good one — aired this morn­ing in San Fran­cis­co. You can lis­ten to it below, or access it via MP3,  iTunes or RSS Feed.

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