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The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politicsby Aviva Chomsky
Synopses & Reviews
Cuba is often perceived in starkly black and white termsandmdash;either as the site of one of Latin Americaandrsquo;s most successful revolutions or as the bastion of the worldandrsquo;s last communist regime. The Cuba Reader multiplies perspectives on the nation many times over, presenting more than one hundred selections about Cubaandrsquo;s history, culture, and politics. Beginning with the first written account of the island, penned by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the selections assembled here track Cuban history from the colonial period through the ascendancy of Fidel Castro to the present.
The Cuba Reader combines songs, paintings, photographs, poems, short stories, speeches, cartoons, government reports and proclamations, and pieces by historians, journalists, and others. Most of these are by Cubans, and many appear for the first time in English. The writings and speeches of Josandeacute; Martandiacute;, Fernando Ortiz, Fidel Castro, Alejo Carpentier, Che Guevera, and Reinaldo Arenas appear alongside the testimonies of slaves, prostitutes, doctors, travelers, and activists. Some selections examine health, education, Catholicism, and santerandiacute;a; others celebrate Cubaandrsquo;s vibrant dance, music, film, and literary cultures. The pieces are grouped into chronological sections. Each section and individual selection is preceded by a brief introduction by the editors.
The volume presents a number of pieces about twentieth-century Cuba, including the events leading up to and following Castroandrsquo;s January 1959 announcement of revolution. It provides a look at Cuba in relation to the rest of the world: the effect of its revolution on Latin America and the Caribbean, its alliance with the Soviet Union from the 1960s until the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989, and its tumultuous relationship with the United States. The Cuba Reader also describes life in the periodo especial following the cutoff of Soviet aid and the tightening of the U.S. embargo.
For students, travelers, and all those who want to know more about the island nation just ninety miles south of Florida, The Cuba Reader is an invaluable introduction.
The essential collection of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, history and cultral writing from and about Cuba. The latest in the series that also includes the Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru Readers.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -700) and index.
Cuba is often perceived in starkly black and white terms--either as the site of one of Latin America's most successful revolutions or as the repressive regime that is the world's last bastion of communism. This book aims to give a more balanced view.
About the Author
“What a beautiful journey through five hundred years of Cuban history, culture, and politics! The Cuba Reader is a sumptuous medley of poetry, song, speeches, interviews, and vignettes from novels new and old. You’ll hear the voices of santeros and sugar workers, prostitutes and politicos, revolutionaries and reporters, dissidents and dancers. It’s the next best thing to being in Cuba, so sit back with a mojito and enjoy the masterfully guided tour.”—Medea Benjamin, activist and cofounder of Global Exchange
"The Cuba Reader offers a splendid overview of the Cuban experience, past and present, through a dazzling array of points of view. The voices of participants and observers and perspectives on the extraordinary and the commonplace—with imagery conveyed by way of photography and poetry, through the lyric of music and the nuance of the novel—make for a compelling collection of material. The very fullness of its vision makes The Cuba Reader an indispensable book for courses—of every academic discipline—on Cuba.”—Louis A. Pérez, Jr., author of On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture
What Our Readers Are Saying
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History and Social Science » Latin America » Cuba