“One of the first books in nearly three decades that dares to explore the Cuban Revolution from its origins through Raul Castro’s government.”—NBC Miami
“Helpful to anyone trying to understand present-day Cuba.”—CubaNews
“Provides a strong narrative and, as the reconciliation and economic integration of Cuba and the Cuban diaspora accelerates following the post-December 2014 normalization of US–Cuban relations, an increasingly significant perspective.”—Social History
“A coherent, engaging, and fair-minded survey of the post-1959 period that successfully uses cultural approaches to provide a more comprehensive picture of life on the island during the Castro years, while firmly embedding the revolutionary experience within the broader narratives of Cuban history. It is well positioned to become one of the standard texts for introductory courses on Cuban revolutionary history.”—Latin American Research Review
"A remarkable achievement. The most comprehensive, synthetic, and systematic appraisal of the Cuban Revolution to date."—Jorge Duany, author of Blurred Borders
"Passionate and balanced, Luis Martínez-Fernández guides the reader expertly through the seemingly endless twists, turns, and detours of the Cuban Revolution."—Gustavo Pérez Firmat, author of Life on the Hyphen
This is the first book in more than three decades to offer a complete and chronological history of revolutionary Cuba, including the years of rebellion that led to the revolution. Beginning with Batista's coup in 1952, which catalyzed the rebels, and bringing the reader to the present-day transformations initiated by Raúl Castro, Luis Martínez-Fernández provides a balanced interpretive synthesis of the major topics of contemporary Cuban history.
Expertly weaving the myriad historic, social, and political forces that shaped the island nation during this period, Martínez-Fernández examines the circumstances that allowed the revolution to consolidate in the early 1960s, the Soviet influence throughout the latter part of the Cold War, and the struggle to survive the catastrophic Special Period of the 1990s after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. He tackles the island’s chronic dependence on sugar production that, starting with the plantations centuries ago, continues to shape Cuba's culture and society today. He analyzes the revolutionary pendulum that continues to swing between idealism and pragmatism, focusing on its effects on the everyday lives of the Cuban people, and--bucking established trends in Cuban scholarship--Martínez-Fernández systematically integrates the Cuban diaspora into the larger discourse of the revolution.
Concise, well written, and accessible, this book is an indispensable survey of the history and themes of the socialist revolution that forever changed Cuba and the world.
Luis Martínez-Fernández, professor of history at the University of Central Florida, is coeditor of Encyclopedia of Cuba: People, History, Culture and the author of numerous books including Frontiers, Plantations, and Walled Cities: Essays on Society, Culture and Politics in the Hispanic Caribbean.
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International Latino Book Awards, Honorable Mention - 2015
One of the first books in nearly three decades that dares to explore the Cuban Revolution from its origins through Raul Castro’s government. . . . [Revolutionary Cuba] takes readers through more than 60 years of historical twists and turns.
Helpful to anyone trying to understand present-day Cuba.
This is a meticulously documented, well-organized, clear and impartial history of a revolution that has provoked rivers of ink.
--El Nuevo Dia Movil
Obligated reading to understand Cuba and the Caribbean in the last fifty years.
--El Vocero de Puerto Rico
A passionate and robust book. . . .provides a strong narrative and, as the reconciliation and economic integration of Cuba and the Cuban diaspora accelerates following the post-December 2014 normalization of US-Cuban relations, an increasingly significant perspective.
Powerful and emotional . . . captures the stakes faced by the individual heroes of this book.