Walking on Fire: Psychiatry and Eugenics in the United States and Canada, 1880-1940

(Author) (Foreword by)

Product Details

Cornell University Press
Publish Date
5.96 X 9.02 X 0.69 inches | 0.84 pounds

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About the Author

Beverly Bell is the founder and director of the Center for Economic Justice in Albuquerque, N.M. She has worked closely with the Haitian democracy and women's movements for more than two decades. Edwidge Danticat is the author of Breath, Eyes, Memory, The Farming of Bones, and Krik? Krak!


"Walking on Fire provides powerful, moving witness to the desperate struggle of these women to protest and--more important--survive. The women who speak out in the pages of Beverly Bell's book offer an eloquent portrait of a poverty that is unrelenting in its meanness."

--Women's Review of Books

"In this moving book on opposing tyranny and degradation, activist Bell... gives face to the numbers by providing a forum for indigenous women to speak about their lives.... An antidote to cynicism, the book not only introduces American readers to an array of courageous role models but also proves that change is possible."

--Library Journal

"Rarely does the voice of Haitian women in Haiti fighting for their rights emerge so clearly to relate their own experiences, battles, and hopes....Despite the harshness of their lives, the honesty and healing potential of the women somehow rises above the unimaginable and lands at the readers' feet."

--The Haitian Times

"The women Bell interviews, many of whom are veteran activists in Haiti's grassroots democracy movement, recount stories of being raped, struggling to feed their families, and being subject to political torture.... Bell does her best to balance the painful lives of the women she interviews with the recognition that under such conditions, mere daily survival of the body and the spirit takes tremendous resilience.... Perhaps one day the small acts of rebellion that Bell celebrates may help to create a movement capable of political transformation, so that the example of Haiti once again frightens the powerful of the world."

--Voice Literary Supplement

"This is painful reading; it shows much suffering but also much remarkable transcendence. Bell's book vocalizes this, but its point is not merely archival. These testimonies are meant to move readers to action."

--Publishers Weekly

"Beverly Bell's remarkable book allows thirty-eight Haitian women to speak for themselves. Defying victim status, together they tell the story of how Haiti's poor and dispossessed women have fought for their personal and collective survival. They weave together an inspiring study in resistance and alternative models of power."