"The question has been asked innumerable times by journalists, politicians, aid workers and academics over the years: What’s wrong with Haiti? Why can’t a country that seems to have so much potential overcome its political instability and extreme poverty? Why don’t aid programs ever seem to have the intended results? Why is the country so vulnerable to disaster and turmoil?
Historian Laurent Dubois attempts to answer that question in Haiti: The Aftershocks of History by carefully detailing Haiti’s history, with particular emphasis on certain turns in the road that have left indelible marks on the island nation often referred to as the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, “a moniker...
What We Find Gross, and Why
By ROBIN MARANTZ HENIG
Published: January 20, 2012
"Did you hear the one about the Texan at his first Passover Seder? He was mightily impressed with the soup. “These matzo balls sure are delicious, ma’am,” he told his hostess. “What other parts of the matzo do y’all cook with?”
This old joke came to mind as I read “That’s Disgusting,” a lively look at all things revolting by Rachel Herz, a psychologist at Brown. I thought of it as Herz described an evening with friends at a pretentious restaurant, where she ordered the appetizer special, duck oysters. It turned out “oysters” was code for “testicles” — how come her dinner companions hadn’t warned her? — and once she knew that, she lost her appetite for the small bulb-shaped...