Page 59. " the last ever taught by anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss "

Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009) was a French anthropologist. He has been called the father of modern anthropology. Lévi-Strauss helped expand the study of anthropology to look at the extended family rather than just the immediate family. He also looked at myths and stories as parts of speech that can be used to understand langauge. By breaking down myths, Lévi-Strauss believed that the humans think mostly in oppositions and try to reconcile these oppositions. Most of Lévi-Strauss' theories were explained in his 1958 book Structural Anthropology.


Page 60. " a German polymath named Rudolf Virchow "
Rudolf Virchow
Public DomainRudolf Virchow

Rudolf Virchow was born in Germany in 1821. He was a well-respected doctor and politician, known for his work on public health. In addition to reforming German medical education, Virchow worked hard for social reform. He did not think public outbreaks could be solved by just treating individuals, but rather that the entire social system should change to improve conditions.

Page 61. " In 1980, when Archbishop Óscar Romero was murdered "

Archbishop Óscar Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980. During his time in El Salvador, Romero witnessed massive violations of human rights. He spoke on behalf of the poor and was a proponent of liberation theology.

Liberation theology is a Christian belief that argues "the teachings of Jesus Christ are understood in terms of a liberation from unjust political, economic, or social conditions."

Page 72. " working for the tontons macoutes "

Tonton macoutes is the common name for the Haitian paramilitary group, the Militia of National Security Volunteers. The force was disbanded around 1986, but some members continued as insurgents against the new Haitian government until around 2000. 

Page 75. " her father took her to lunch with Graham Greene "

Graham Greene was an English novelist and literary critic. His 1966 book The Comedians was set in Haiti during the time of François "Papa Doc" Duvalier and the Tonton Macoute.