WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
12 Mar 2014 | Video

2013 WOLA-Duke Book Award Winner: The Big Truck That Went By by Jonathan M. Katz

Watch a reading and discussion with Jonathan M. Katz from the 2013 WOLA-Duke Book Award Presentation.

Katz was a correspondent for the Associated Press on January 12, 2010, when the deadliest earthquake ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere struck the island nation of Haiti. The Big Truck That Went By recounts Katz’s personal experience when the earthquake hit, and—drawing on his groundbreaking reporting during the period that followed—traces the relief response that poured in from the international community and where those efforts went tremendously wrong.

Describing the book, Dr. Kathryn Sikkink—a member of the 2013 judging panel and winner of the 2011 WOLA-Duke Human Rights Book Award—said that “Katz has written a gripping, well-written book, full of moving stories of the people of Haiti and the tragedies and triumphs of their lives during the adversity of the earthquake and the cholera epidemic, and vivid cameos of the very mixed bag of foreigners who seemed compelled to try to make things better there.”

Leonor Blum, the chair of this year’s panel of judges and Professor Emerita of history and political science at the Notre Dame of Maryland University, explained that “[Katz’s] easy style, his dramatic presentation of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, his deep understanding of Haiti and its problems, and his willingness to criticize Haiti’s governments as well as the international governmental and non-governmental community, all make The Big Truck That Went By worthy of the WOLA/Duke prize.”