Title: Big Truck that Went By, The
Authors: Katz, Jonathan M
Genre: Non Fiction
Pages: 306
Year: 2013
Language: English
Description: When the 2010 Haitian earthquake struck, American news correspondent Jonathan Katz initially thought it was a truck going by, something that was part of everyday life he had experienced since living in the country. But a truck it definitely was not; from the moment of picking himself up from his collapsed home through to his observation of the inadequate reconstruction efforts three years later, Katz turns his journalistic lens on this devastating event and its aftermath. Perfectly encapsulated by its subtitle 'how the world came to save Haiti and left behind a disaster', this is a riveting account of international aid gone awry and a much misunderstood country.

Comments from Groups:

An interesting book, and an indictment on the structure of aid relief in times of crisis. The group found the introduction of cholera into the country by the UN, tragic. However, there was a general feeling that the author was very bullish in his writing, and that the tenor of the text felt a little biased. A healthy discussion followed about aid machinations and leadership in times of crisis. Recommended for its historical value, and for raising issues that, in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, are still frighteningly typical today. Wellington 153

Most members found this incredibly interesting and eye-opening. A well written and easily readable account of a once-headline catastophe, now relegated to the historical bits of our memories. Gisborne 003

A very well researched account of the Haitian earthquake and ensuing problems. A timely topic - Christchurch and Nepal. Fascinating. Nelson 051

The book was very enlightening, emphasising the size and magnitude of the disaster, and the interference from foreign agencies who appeared not to have the interests of the Haitian people at heart. Matamata 004

As a whole, we felt the book needed to be edited to make it an easier read, as it felt hard going at times. We did find the subject very interesting, and something we wished to learn more about. Auckland 319

This book provoked a very interesting discussion. Some found it quite long for a one month book. Auckland 155

Categories: Non fiction, Journalistic reporting/media, Morals/Ethics, Political, Social commentary/perspectives, Haiti


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By: CHCH 240 2019-08-23 11:40:39
Some members found this too hard to read, especially as we in Christchurch remember only too well our own recent earthquakes. Some parts of the book were easy to read but other parts, particularly around the political aspects, were a bit heavy. Very glad we had the opportunity to read this book as it gave a fascinating insight into the issues of governments without strong leadership trying to manage such a crisis. Very well written from the personal perspective of a true-journalist!

By: PIOPIO 001 2018-03-24 11:59:56
A thought-provoking account of a deadly earthquake in Haiti and the monumental botch-up and devastation that follows. The country which already had inadequate infrastructure and corruption could not support given aid. Decisions made compounded the disaster. Very sad. Necessary read rather than a compelling one. A lot of repetition and statistics which although important, became overwhelming. More personal stories or case studies would have highlighted the human factor.

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