Few island nations have stirred the soul like Cuba. From Hemingway’s intoxicating Havana to Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club, outsiders have persistently been fascinated by Cuba for its music (jazz to rumba), its rich literature, its art and dance (danzon to mambo) and perhaps above all for its bold experiment of a socialist revolution in action. Antoni Kapcia shows how the thaw in relations between Cuba and the USA now makes a fresh appraisal of the country and its modern history essential.
He authoritatively explores the ‘essence’ of the Cuban revolution, revealing it to be a maverick phenomenon tied not so much to socialism or Communism for their own sakes but instead to an idealistic vision of postcolonial nationalism. Reassessing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the author examines the central personalities: not just the famous trio of Che Guevara, Fidel and Raul Castro in shaping the ideas of the revolution but, still further back, the visionary ideology of Jose Marti. Kapcia’s book reflects on the future of the revolution as Raul and his government begin to cede power to a new generation.
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