By Juan Garcia
In response to the recent earthquake that struck Haiti, Rutgers University Press is providing e-books about Haiti for free until Sept. 30.
The e-books can be downloaded by clicking the link to each selection and entering an email address. Older titles available in print may be purchased at a 50 percent discount.
“It was a natural fit to make out [those selections of] e-books free at such a critical time,” said Courtney Brach, publicity manager of the university press. “Part of our mission […] is to produce knowledge and get it into the hands of people who need it the most.” she continued. “We also have a commitment to publishing books about Haiti and the Caribbean.”
Rutgers University Press has a Critical Caribbean Studies series, which includes such titles as “Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti” and “Killing with Kindness.” Both books by Mark Schuller critique the international response to the 2010 earthquake and humanitarian crisis, and are among the titles available for free download.
“The books end with a conclusion: how to do better,” said Schuller, a professor of anthropology and nonprofit and NGO studies at Northern Illinois University.
While “Killing with Kindness” offers an ethnographic account of nongovernmental politics in Haiti, “Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti” focuses on the failure of the international aid response to the 2010 earthquake and explains how inexperienced, foreign aid workers enacted policies that triggered a range of negative results.
Schuller added he would like his books to be read not only by undergraduate students but also by “journalists, policy makers, advocates, activists, and other humanitarian practitioners who are on the ground now.”
The book giveaway is the first of its kind about Haiti that the Rutgers University Press has organized. The organization plans to do so again in the future, “whether it’s Haiti or other topics in response to crises or public challenges,” Brach said.