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Distributed for Reaktion Books


A Cultural History

Distributed for Reaktion Books


A Cultural History

As American-Cuban relations begin to warm, tourists are rushing to discover the throwback tropical paradise just eighty miles off of the American coast. But even as diplomatic relations are changing and the country opens up to the Western world, Cuba remains a rare and fascinating place.

Cuba: A Cultural History tells the story of Cuba’s history through an exploration of its rich and vibrant culture. Rather than offer a timeline of Cuban history or a traditional genre-by-genre history of Cuban culture, Alan West-Durán invites readers to enter Cuban history from the perspective of the island’s uniquely creative cultural forms. He traces the restless island as it ebbs and flows with the power, beauty, and longings of its culture and history.

In a world where revolutionary socialism is an almost quaint reminder of the decades-old Cold War, the island nation remains one of the few on the planet guided by a Communist party, still committed to fighting imperialism, opposed to the injustices of globalization, and wedded to the dream of one day building a classless society, albeit in a distant future. But as this book shows, Cuba is more than a struggling socialist country—it is a nation with a complex and turbulent history and a rich and varied culture.

288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2017

History: Latin American History

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"West-Durán manages to pack this relatively short book with an impressive density of material, and his graceful, lucid style prevents it from becoming overwhelming. Readers fascinated by and interested in Cuba should find this book to be of great value in understanding a complex and often contradictory society."

Publishers Weekly

“For anyone wanting to get inside the fascinating mystery of the role which culture (in all senses) has played in the evolution, character, and survival of the post-1959 Cuban Revolution, this book is ideal. In the hands of someone who really knows the field and understands the complexities of that often baffling political phenomenon, the whole subject is treated here with welcome subtlety and depth, and we are all better informed as a result.”

Antoni Kapcia, author of "Cuba in Revolution"

Table of Contents

1 Building a New Cultural Foundation (1898-1930)
2 Curses, Myths and Longing (1930-1959)
3 A Revolution in Culture (1959-1980)
4 From Mariel to the Special Period (1980-1990
5 Form the Special Period to Obama (1990-2014)
6 Concluding Remarks (2014-2016)

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