[more after a break -- poor UNC just defeated by Wake Forest]
The shared problem and shared project of this area is the problem of facing up to our shared histories. “Mountains” uses the tales of a single man and his struggles to bring light on the history and consequences of our relationship with our sister revolutionary democracy Haiti. Though Haiti can be avoided by exoticising it, by saying it’s over there across the water. Farmer would not allow that. His own book, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor, is strong and clear analysis of interactions of health, human rights and geopolitics. A discussion of “Mountains” can not avoid grappling with the questions that Framer makes it the business of his life to constantly reencounter. He wants us to know that mysterious Haiti is not a mystery but a part of our own doing across history.
Tyson’s book addresses many of the same questions as does Kidder’s book on Farmer. His book however is close to home. In fact not far from Chapel Hill. Not in the far distant past, but in the recent past. In 1970. Tyson tells the story of a murder that is not a mystery. As in Farmer, the “mystery” is our history and our collective doing and our decision to ignore and disown our deeds.