Like two roosters in a fighting arena, the Dominican Republic & Haiti are encircled by barriers of geography & poverty. They share one Caribbean island, Hispaniola, but their histories are as deeply divided as their cultures: one French speaking & black, one Spanish speaking & mulatto. And just as the owners of gamecocks contrive battles between their birds (a favorite sport in both countries) as a way of playing out human conflicts, Haitian & Dominican leaders often stir up nationalist disputes & exaggerate their cultural & racial differences as a way of deflecting other kinds of turmoil. The author's vivid account of these struggles, both on Hispaniola & in the United States, takes us to the haunted mountains where, sixty years ago, the Dominican dictator Trujillo ordered 30,000 Haitians to be killed; to Voodoo rituals in Dominican sugarcane fields where Haitians work as virtual slaves; & to the ringside of cockfights in all three countries. She focuses especially on the features in Caribbean history that are still affecting Hispaniola today, including the often contradictory policies of the United States toward both nations. The author's report on the life of Dominican & Haitian migrants in the United States is essential if we are to understand their contribution of the politics of our hemisphere.