Two major transformations indelibly marked Haiti in the second half of the twentieth century: explosive urban growth fueled by rural-to-urban migration and the consolidation of state power into the hands of the Duvalier regime, an autocratic nationalist government that ruled between 1957 and 1986. My research, funded in part by a Fulbright-Hays DDRA fellowship, brings these themes into conversation for the first time. Drawing on extensive archival research, I examine the rise and fall of the dictatorship through its relationship to the shifting built environment of the capital. I track the creation, destruction, and management of material and abstract urban spaces—from airports and aquifers to the political economy of cement. My analysis of these sites shows how the daily politics of authoritarianism were infused with the dynamics of rapid demographic and geographic change. The study brings to light the previously-unknown architects, planners, developers, investors, and local and international officials who enacted, contested, and revised the dictatorship’s ideological visions and pragmatic imperatives. Ultimately, the book exposes how political and economic vulnerabilities of Haiti—within the context of the Caribbean Cold War—manifested physically through the construction of a dangerous landscape of inequality, one that would haunt the world when, in January 2010, the city collapsed in a deadly earthquake.