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We Dream Together: Dominican Independence, Haiti, and the Fight for Caribbean Freedom

by Anne Eller

Duke University Press, 2016


Cloth: 978-0-8223-6217-3

Paper: 978-0-8223-6237-1

eISBN: 978-0-8223-7376-6

OA eISBN: 978-1-4780-9115-8

About the Book
In We Dream Together Anne Eller breaks with dominant narratives of conflict between the Dominican Republic and Haiti by tracing the complicated history of Dominican emancipation and independence between 1822 and 1865. Eller moves beyond the small body of writing by Dominican elites that often narrates Dominican nationhood to craft inclusive, popular histories of identity, community, and freedom, summoning sources that range from trial records and consul reports to poetry and song. Rethinking Dominican relationships with their communities, the national project, and the greater Caribbean, Eller shows how popular anticolonial resistance was anchored in a rich and complex political culture. Haitians and Dominicans fostered a common commitment to Caribbean freedom, the abolition of slavery, and popular democracy, often well beyond the reach of the state. By showing how the island's political roots are deeply entwined, and by contextualizing this history within the wider Atlantic world, Eller demonstrates the centrality of Dominican anticolonial struggles for understanding independence and emancipation throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. 
About the Author
Anne Eller is Assistant Professor of History at Yale University.
"In doing away with simplistic, jingoistic evaluations of relationships between and among Caribbean actors, Eller allows readers to better appreciate the relationship of the eventual Dominican overthrow of the Spanish annexation to Puerto Rican and Cuban struggles for independence from Spain. Highly recommended."

-- W. J. Nelson Choice

"Anne Eller’s pathbreaking study provides the first social history of the Restoration War, moving purposefully away from elite accounts to explore what the Haitian and Domimnican people on the ground were thinking and feeling."

-- Gavin O'Toole Latin American Review of Books

"Eller’s book is an important addition to the historiography on anti-colonial struggles. Her globalized perspective is insightful as it offers the reader a fresh way of looking at events in Hispaniola within the context of global competition for interests in the Caribbean."

-- Bekeh Utietiang Journal of Global South Studies

"For those of us descended from the island that is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic, We Dream Together offers historical lessons that should encourage a reconfiguration of identity that centers the social, economic, and political relationships forged between oppressed communities on both sides of the island’s internal border."

-- Sandy Placido Black Perspectives

“With We Dream Together, Anne Eller has produced not only an invaluable contribution to the academic field of history, but also a forceful manifesto.”

-- Milagros Ricourt American Historical Review

“Exhaustively researched and eloquently argued. We Dream Together is an important work for everyone interested in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to absorb and to ponder.”

-- Eric Paul Roorda Hispanic American Historical Review

"A thorough, panoptic study of the sociopolitical dynamics at work in the Dominican Republic . . . . The strength of the scholarship is astounding."

-- Sophie Maríñez H-Haiti, H-Net Reviews

"Successful in dealing with the challenge of keeping all the various protagonists, political forces and international events in play along with foregrounding the everyday lives of inhabitants. . . . A welcome addition to an important new direction in the nineteenth-century Caribbean history. . . . She proves that a full understanding of the past is not possible without unearthing the sometimes surprising network of connections that underpin historical events."

-- J. Michael Dash Slavery & Abolition

"Anne Eller’s richly researched, intricately built book takes us to the 1844 to 1865 period during which Dominican independence was twice won, first against Haiti and then from Spain. . . . With a stereoscopic vision that encompasses both minute local details and the regional context, We Dream Together succeeds in raising the stature of the Dominican War of Restoration within the larger context of Caribbean post-emancipation struggles against racism and colonialism."

-- Samuel Martínez European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Haiti, Dominican Republic, 1844-1930, Caribbean & West Indies, Relations, Politics and government, History
Open Access Information

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0