Dominican Republic Reads
Reading list inspiration for travel
Books & eBooks
- Dominican Baseball: New Pride, Old PrejudiceView on Amazon The author, a professor Northeastern University, examines the history of MLB's presence and influence in the Dominican Republic, the development of the booming industry and academies and the dependence on Dominican player developers. By Alan Klein.
- DrownView on Amazon The Dominican-born writer and Pulitzer Prize winner uses the contrast between his island homeland and life in New York City and New Jersey as a fulcrum for ten short stories. By Junot Diaz.
- In the Time of the ButterfliesView on Amazon The well-regarded Dominican-raised novelist tells the story of four sisters — “The Butterflies” — who were among the leading opponents of General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. By Julia Alvarez.
- Merengue : Dominican Music and Dominican IdentityView on Amazon An music scholar provides an unrivaled account of the rise and significance of the island's signature sound. By Paul Austerlitz.
- The Dictator Next DoorView on Amazon The author examines relations between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic following Rafael Trujillo’s seizure of power in 1930, focusing specifically on how the iron-fisted dictator was able to use the Good Neighbor Policy to his advantage. By Eric Paul Roorda.
- The Dominican Republic ReaderView on Amazon A carefully-chosen selection of 118 essays, speeches, journalistic accounts, short stories and poems offers an introduction to the history, politics and culture of the country, from precolonial times into the early 21st century. Edited by Eric Paul Roorda, Lauren H Derby and Raymundo Gonzalez.
- The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire, and War in the West IndiesView on Amazon For some two hundred years after 1650, the West Indies were the strategic center of trade in sugar — a commodity so lucrative it became known as "white gold." The author chronicles how the wealth of her island colonies became the foundation and focus of England's commercial and imperial greatness, supported by the cruelty, corruption and decadence of plantation culture. By Matthew Parker.
- The TainosView on Amazon A noted archaeologist and anthropologist tells the story of the Tainos of the northern Caribbean islands, from their ancestry on the South American continent to their rapid decline after contact with the Spanish explorers. By Irving Rouse.
- Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for HispaniolaView on Amazon Like two roosters in a fighting arena, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are encircled by barriers of geography and poverty. They co-inhabit the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, but their histories are as deeply divided as their cultures: one French-speaking and black, one Spanish-speaking and mulatto. The author examines a shared tradition — the cockfight — as a means of exploring the nature of the conflict. By Michele Wucker.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “Haiti-Dominican Republic: Environmental Challenges in the Border Zone”View on unep.ch This comprehensive report by the United Nations Environment Programme provides valuable insight into the pivotal areas's environment (geography, geology, freshwater marine and forest resources) and its linkage to industry and commerce.
- “Harnessing the Dominican Republic’s Sustainable Energy Resources”View on worldwatch.org A detailed look at the country’s current electricity system and the role of sustainable power in the future. By Mark Konold, Matthew Lucky, Alexander Ochs, Evan Musolino, Michael Weber and Asad Ahmed.
- “Manor Houses of the Oldest City in America”View on casashistoricasrd.com A beautiful, book-length review of Santo Domingo's historic houses, featuring superb photographs and bullet-point descriptions. By José Batlle; photos by Victor Siladi.
- “Religious Transformations: The Protestant Movement in the Dominican Republic”View on washington.edu A scholarly look at evangelical Protestant church growth in the Dominican Republic. By Daniel F Escher.
- “Terroir – What are the Factors that Influence the Flavor of Tobacco?”View on cigarjournal.co An expert compares cigars rolled from three different production areas in the Dominican Republic's Cibao Valley. By Manuel Fröhlich.
- “The Dominican Republic and Haiti: A Shared View from the Diaspora”View on americasquarterly.org In a landmark ruling, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court last September stripped an estimated 210,000 individuals — most of whom are Dominicans born to Haitian sugar cane workers — of their citizenship, effectively leaving them stateless. Two of the island's most famous authors discuss the issue.
- “The Republic of Baseball”View on NYTimes.com The sport is stitched into life’s fabric in the Dominican Republic, where youths dream of a better future through baseball. By Michael Hanson.
- “Waiting to be deported in Santo Domingo”View on NewYorker.com What makes the D.R.’s current anti-Haitian politics notable is the extent to which they have sanctified long-standing attitudes and unofficial policies as law. By Joshua Jelly-Schapiro.
Online Sources & Blogs
- Reef Base | Dominican RepublicVisit reefbase.org An excellent resource for detailed information on the country's coral reefs and reef fish.
- Trade in the Dominican RepublicVisit atlas.media.mit.edu Excellent, highly-graphical summary of the country's exports and imports.
- World Bank | Dominican RepublicVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Latin AmericaListen on latinousa.org Michele Wucker, executive director of the World Policy Institute, explains how the relationship between these two former European colonies is as complicated as their relationship with the rest of Latin America.
- Retrospective: 50 Years After the U.S. Invasion of the Dominican RepublicListen on soundcloud.com This broadcast revisits the US's invasion and occupation of the DR in 1965 to bolster a military dictatorship.