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The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacyby Marife Perez Stable
Synopses & Reviews
Today, Castro's Cuba stands on unsure legs. With the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Cuba's pipeline of trade, credit, and aid has dried up. The revolution raised a generation of healthier, better educated, more urban Cubans, who now demand the right to express their creativity and political diversity, rights the Communist party refuses to grant. And while the Cuban people have acted with great valor and self-sacrifice in exceptional times, their commitment to revolution has ebbed in the day-to-day life of state socialism. How long will they continue to consent--out of conviction, fear, or passivity--to be governed in the ways of the past?
In The Cuban Revolution, Marifeli Pérez-Stable provides a bold reexamination of the achievements and failures of the Cuban revolution and a perceptive, behind-the-scenes look at the problems facing Cuba today. Pérez-Stable examines the background of the revolution, ranging from the inauguration of the republic in 1902 to Castro's triumphant entry into Santiago de Cuba in 1959, highlighting the factors--such as a one-crop (sugar) economy and U.S. interference in Cuban affairs--that made Cuba susceptible to revolution. She then offers an unflinching look at Castro's thirty year rule and the U.S. response to it. She argues that U.S. government interference in Cuban affairs actually fueled nationalism, providing Castro with the extraordinary popular support needed to bolster his reign. We learn, for instance, how U.S.-owned companies resisted the wage demands and union organizations of Castro's regime, that the first air raids against cane fields and the initial acts of sabotage in urban Cuba were conducted with tacit U.S. support, and that the explosion of La Coubre, loaded with weapons that Cuba had acquired in France, was attributed to the CIA.
Pérez-Stable is equally critical of the Cuban government. She argues that the revolution actually ended in 1970, when the regime turned to the models of the Soviet Union, accepted a new dependence, and began what would become, for many years, a profitable relationship with the Soviet Union. She further charges that Cuban leaders failed to achieve a more balanced economy to sustain the nation, failed to create democratic institutions, and found themselves ill-prepared to deal with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. As a result, domestic and international conditions eroded the legitimacy of the long-time one-party system and the viability of Cuban socialism.
With its hard-hitting criticisms of Cuba's revolutionary elite and of U.S. policy, The Cuban Revolution offers a provocative look at the turbulent past--and the precarious present--of a nation on the brink of change.
This timely and provocative study provides a reexamination of the achievements and failures of the Cuban revolution, placing it firmly within the context of twentieth century Cuban history. Beginning with the inauguration of the republic in 1902 and addressing Castro's triumphant entry into Santiago de Cuba in 1959, The Cuban Revolution highlights the factors which made Cuba susceptible to revolution, including its one-crop (sugar) economy and U.S. interference in Cuban affairs. While identifying nationalism and the struggle for social justice as the legitimate forces behind the revolution, Pérez-Stable also provides insight into the problems facing Castro's Cuba. Arguing that the revolution actually ended in 1970, she blames its defeat on the regime's profitable yet doomed dependence on the Soviet Union. She further charges that Cuba's leaders failed to diversify the country's economy, to sustain development, or to create democratic institutions.
Now in its second edition, The Cuban Revolution has been updated to include an entirely new chapter on the changes affecting Cuba's policies and economy since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and the failure of communism in general. The second edition also includes a new preface, an up-to-date bibliography, and a thoroughly revised concluding chapter summing up the prospects and possibilities of Cuba's future in the twenty-first century. Ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin American history and politics, The Cuban Revolution offers students fresh insights into the successes and failures of the Cuban Revolution.
About the Author
About the Author -
Marifeli Pérez-Stable is Associate Professor of Sociology, in the Program in Politics, Economics, and Society at the State University of New York, Old Westbury.
Table of Contents
Preface to the First Edition
List of Tables
List of Acronmyms
1. Meidated Sovereignty, Monoculture, and Development
2. Politics and Society, 1902-1958
3. Revolution and Radical Nationalism, 1959-1961
4. Revolution and Inclusive Development
5. Politics and Society, 1961-1970
6. Politics and Society, 1971-1986
7. Revolution, Rectification, and Contemporary Socialism
8. The Invisible Crisis: Stability and Change in 1990s Cuba
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History and Social Science » Latin America » Cuba