The island of Hispaniola is split by a border that divides the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
This border was long contested and largely porous. But beginning in the late nineteenth century, Dominican policies attempted to establish this border more firmly.
The dictator Rafael Trujillo intensified these attempts in the middle of the twentieth century and established state institutions and an ideological campaign against what he considered an inferior state.
Paulino examines these policies as they relate to the construction of Dominican national identity-built largely in opposition to the idea of a black Haiti.