Tracking Cuban history from 1492 to the present, The Cuba Reader includes more than one hundred selections that present myriad perspectives on Cuba's history, culture, and politics. The volume foregrounds the experience of Cubans from all walks of life, including slaves, prostitutes, doctors, activists, and historians. Combining songs, poetry, fiction, journalism, political speeches, and many other types of documents, this revised and updated second edition of The Cuba Reader contains over twenty new selections that explore the changes and continuities in Cuba since Fidel Castro stepped down from power in 2006. For students, travelers, and all those who want to know more about the island nation just ninety miles south of Florida, The Cuba Reader is an invaluable introduction.
I. Indigenous Society and Conquest 7
II. Sugar, Slavery, and Colonialism 37
III. The Struggle for Independence 111
IV. Neocolonialism 141
V. Building a New Society 309
VI. Culture and Revolution 405
VII. The Cuban Revolution and the World 453
VIII. The Período Especial 517
IX. Cuba after Fidel: Continuities and Transitions 577
Suggestions for Further Reading 683
Acknowledgment of Copyrights and Sources 697
“Cuba is often a mirage, especially for North Americans, who feel they must know something about the place because of its proximity and the outsized influence the island has had on the United States. And yet it often still feels just out of reach. What The Cuba Reader does is provide incisive, intimate insight, not so much a road map as a vision of what has been and what could be. It's indispensable.”
“What a beautiful journey through five hundred years of Cuban history, culture, and politics! The Cuba Reader is a sumptuous medley of poetry, song, speeches, interviews, and vignettes from novels new and old. You'll hear the voices of santeros and sugar workers, prostitutes and politicos, revolutionaries and reporters, dissidents and dancers. It's the next best thing to being in Cuba, so sit back with a mojito and enjoy the masterfully guided tour.”
Medea Benjamin, activist and cofounder of Global Exchange
"The Cuba Reader offers a splendid overview of the Cuban experience, past and present, through a dazzling array of points of view. . . . The very fullness of its vision makes The Cuba Reader an indispensable book for courses—of every academic discipline—on Cuba.”
Louis A. Pérez Jr., author of
On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture
"The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics by Aviva Chomsky was really insightful for me. It has all these essays from people who lived in Cuba at different times, including a priest who came with the Spanish, so you get a different perspective on the attacks on native people and their resistance."
"[An] ambitious and impressive anthology, a sweeping collection of source materials by and about Cubans both on the island and living in other countries. The editors . . . have wisely chosen songs, paintings, photographs, short stories, essays, speeches, government reports, cartoons and newspaper articles that span Cuban history. . . . What The Cuba Reader does extraordinarily well is to reveal the nuances and complexity of the Cuban experience. All shades of politics are here, and they infuse Cuban dance, music, film and religion."
The Miami Herald
"[A] crash course in Cuban history. If you’re looking for a single (hefty) volume to get you up to speed about the past 500 years of Cuban politics and culture, this is it."
Julie Schwietert Collazo
"For a solid introduction to all things Cuban, start with this edited collection of primary sources, including speeches, articles, songs, poems, book excerpts, and other publications spanning 500 years of Cuban history and culture."