Synopses & Reviews
In the late nineteenth century, in an age of ascendant racism and imperial expansion, there emerged in Cuba a movement that unified black, mulatto, and white men in an attack on Europe's oldest empire, with the goal of creating a nation explicitly defined as antiracist. This book tells the story of the thirty-year unfolding and undoing of that movement.
Ada Ferrer examines the participation of black and mulatto Cubans in nationalist insurgency from 1868, when a slaveholder began the revolution by freeing his slaves, until the intervention of racially segregated American forces in 1898. In so doing, she uncovers the struggles over the boundaries of citizenship and nationality that their participation brought to the fore, and she shows that even as black participation helped sustain the movement ideologically and militarily, it simultaneously prompted accusations of race war and fed the forces of counterinsurgency.
Carefully examining the tensions between racism and antiracism contained within Cuban nationalism, Ferrer paints a dynamic portrait of a movement built upon the coexistence of an ideology of racial fraternity and the persistence of presumptions of hierarchy.
Examines the tensions between racism and anti-racism in Cuba•s struggle to become a nation between 1868 and 1898.
Ferrer's book is a significant contribution to the historiography on race and race relations in Cuba.
American Historical Review This book is the best overview in English of the role of race in the Cuban independence movement.
Journal of American History Anyone who wants to understand modern Cuba should read Ferrer•s account of the Cuban insurgency.
Journal of Military History An admirable book; Ada Ferrer has attentively examined the dynamics between the racial groups involved in Cuba•s struggle towards independence.
Times Literary Supplement [An] important analysis of race in early Cuban nationalism.
Table of Contents
Introduction. A Revolution the World Forgot
Part I. War
Chapter 1. Slaves, Insurgents, and Citizens: The Early Ten Years' War, 1868-1870
Chapter 2. Region, Race, and Transformation in the Ten Years' War, 1870-1878
Chapter 3. Fear and Its Uses: The Little War, 1879-1880
Part II. Peace
Chapter 4. A Fragile Peace: Colonialism, the State, and Rural Society, 1878-1895
Chapter 5. Writing the Nation: Race, War, and Redemption in the Prose of Independence, 1886-1895
Part III. War Again
Chapter 6. Insurgent Identities: Race and the Western Invasion, 1895-1896
Chapter 7. Race, Culture, and Contention: Political Leadership and the Onset of Peace
Epilogue and Prologue. Race, Nation, and Empire