Synopses & Reviews
After thirty years of anticolonial struggle against Spain and four years of military occupation by the United States, Cuba formally became an independent republic in 1902. The nationalist coalition that fought for Cuba's freedom, a movement in which blacks and mulattoes were well represented, had envisioned an egalitarian and inclusive country--a nation for all, as Jos© Mart described it. But did the Cuban republic, and later the Cuban revolution, live up to these expectations?
Tracing the formation and reformulation of nationalist ideologies, government policies, and different forms of social and political mobilization in republican and postrevolutionary Cuba, Alejandro de la Fuente explores the opportunities and limitations that Afro-Cubans experienced in such areas as job access, education, and political representation. Challenging assumptions of both underlying racism and racial democracy, he contends that racism and antiracism coexisted within Cuban nationalism and, in turn, Cuban society. This coexistence has persisted to this day, despite significant efforts by the revolutionary government to improve the lot of the poor and build a nation that was truly for all.
This is a thoughtful and systematic examination of the shifting meanings of race in the political process in Cuba. (Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan)
Alejandro de la Fuente tells a powerful and intriguing story with a cool, even-handed detachment and the authority of prodigious research. (Thomas C. Holt, University of Chicago)
Includes bibliographical references (p. -436) and index.
About the Author
Alejandro de la Fuente is assistant professor of Latin American history at the University of Pittsburgh.