In 1915, United States Marines arrived in Haiti to safeguard lives and property from the political instability of the time. While there, the Marine Corps controlled everything from finance to education, from health care to public works and built an army, "La Garde d'Haiti," to maintain the changes it implemented. Ultimately, the decisions made by the United States about and for Haiti have indelibly shaped the development of what is generally considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.Contrary Destinies presents the story of the one hundred year relationship between the two countries. Leon Pamphile chronicles the internal, external, and natural forces that have shaped Haiti as it is today, striking a balance between the realities faced by the people on the island and the global and transnational contexts that affect their lives. He examines how American policies towards the Caribbean nation-during the Cold War and later as the United States became the sole world superpower-and the legacies of the occupation contributed to the gradual erosion of Haitian independence, culminating in a second occupation and the current United Nations peacekeeping mission.