Aldabonazo: Inside the Cuban Revolutionary Underground 1952-58, a participant's Account

Overview

In this firsthand account by a historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, we meet men and women who led the urban underground in the fight against the brutal U.S.-backed tyranny in the 1950s. Together with their comrades-in-arms in the Rebel Army, they not only overthrew the dictatorship. Their revolutionary actions and example worldwide changed the history of the 20th century-and the century to come.

"Biographical sketches of major political figures during the 1950s, as well as photographs, are important additions...

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Overview

In this firsthand account by a historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, we meet men and women who led the urban underground in the fight against the brutal U.S.-backed tyranny in the 1950s. Together with their comrades-in-arms in the Rebel Army, they not only overthrew the dictatorship. Their revolutionary actions and example worldwide changed the history of the 20th century-and the century to come.

"Biographical sketches of major political figures during the 1950s, as well as photographs, are important additions to the text . . . . Recommended."-Choice

"Narrated by [someone] who not only participated in the founding of the revolutionary movement that came to power in 1959 but also . . . formed part of the leadership of that revolutionary movement . . . . [C]ontains more than one hundred pages of important documents, other first-person accounts, and photographs . . . . [P]rovides scholars of Cuba a wealth of information with which to stimulate further research . . . will also be of value for students and the general public interested in contemporary Latin America."-Hispanic American Historical Review

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Editorial Reviews

Book News

This is the memoir of a key participant of Cuba's July 26 Movement, which led the uprising that overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, appearing for the first time in English. Armando Hart Dávalos was a founding member of the movement and its National Directorate and later a government minister in the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro. In Hart's own words, "The main interest of the book lies in showing some fundamental elements of a historical thread that should not be forgotten, and that can serve as an important point of reference to better understand how the fabric of the Cuban Revolution was woven and, more broadly, to comprehend the second half of the 20th century." As part of this mission, Hart's chapters on the development of the Cuban Revolution are interspersed with a number of primary source documents written by Hart and other prominent figures of the July 26 Movement. Now with 28-page photo section, maps, chronological notes, and epilogue. Also available in Spanish as Aldabonazo; En la Clandestinidad Revolucionaria Cubana, 1952-58. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873489683
  • Publisher: Pathfinder Press GA
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Series: The Cuban Revolution in World Politics
  • Pages: 387
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    A riveting account of Cuba's revolutionary urban underground

    Armando Hart’s Aldabonazo is a first-hand, concrete—and riveting—account of how Cuba’s deep-going popular revolution developed in the urban underground by a long time central leader of the revolution and one of Latin America’s most respected and honored writers. This story, enriched by documents, letters, and news releases, shows how U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista’s 1952 election-canceling coup provoked widespread outrage among a layer of young people. Aldabonazo (Spanish for a sharp, warning knock on the door—and a rallying cry in the early days of the revolution) documents the debates that opened up among these youth as to what strategy and tactics, as well as what social forces should be looked to for the leadership of the struggle to liberate their country. It recounts the courageous actions they took to reach that goal and the central place in this of the armed attack on the Moncada barracks led by Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953. It explains how this action earned Fidel the leadership among these revolutionary forces. But it also highlights Castro’s ability to unite in action with all those who really wanted to fight the dictatorship. For the Fidelistas, Hart explains, the means used to overthrow the dictator were equally important as the change of regime in and of itself. This was a movement that saw the road to political democracy unalterably meshed with a mass popular struggle for social and economic justice. A movement that came to see the struggle for socialism as the only way to continue the historic fight for Cuban independence and the abolition of slavery and racial oppression as led by such heroes as Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and Jose Marti. Many of those seeking to learn the lessons of the Cuban revolution that this book makes available so richly will be struck by the difference in strategy and tactics used by the Fidelistas in contrast to those of what the media calls the “resistance” currently attacking U.S. occupation forces in Iraq. Wishfully thinking there can be a shortcut to the difficult process of uniting a revolutionary and anti-imperialist vanguard as was done in Cuba, a process not yet evident in Iraq today, many opponents of the brutal U.S. invasion put an equal sign between the Iraqi “resistance” and that of genuine popular movements against imperialism. A careful examination of the way Cuba’s revolutionary forces oriented towards winning the masses—as opposed to seeking to terrorize, divide, and keep them out of revolutionary politics, as do the elements of the defeated Baathist regime and other bourgeois nationalist reactionary forces in the region—provides a useful reality check for those who want to effectively fight imperialist war today. Pathfinder Press’ new English language edition—as well as a new edition making the work available to Spanish-speaking readers after half a decade—makes this book available to many for the first time in an updated version prepared in collaboration with the author. The new volumes continue Pathfinder’s outstanding work in presenting glossaries; chronologies, photo signatures, an index and maps that help all readers approach this account more closely as political equals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2004

    Inspiring, historic, the story of young fighters for today's young rebels!

    This great book is unqiue because it charts the course of struggle by the leaders of the Cuban Revolution. More than that, it shows how the revolutionary movement grew out of different currents, with different backgrounds, but fused together around the revolutionary politics of Fidel Castro and his comrades. Both the book's introduction, its glossary, and Hart's narration provide an inside look on the history and tactics of the revolution, as well as much about the history of Cuba and Latin American. Rather than discussing the struggle in the Sierra as great books like the memoirs of Che , Hart's memoir gives the story of the July 26 movement's urban resistance. He also gives a first hand account of how these revolutionists continued the struggle in both the courts and the prisons. Armando Hart's skill as a writer is reknowned through Latin America and the Spanish speaking world. The new book contains extensive pictures, documents and a fine glossary and chronology of Cuban and world history. An interesting feature is that documents, instead of being held off to an appendix at the end, are placed after the chapter in which they are referred to. If Hart refers to a newspaper article, or a response by Fidel Castro to the bourgeois opportunists, or a speech he gave, the document often appears right after the document closes. In this firsthand account by one of the historic leaders of the Cuban Revolution, we meet many of the men and women who in the 1950s led the urban underground in the fight against the brutal U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship. Together with their comrades-in-arms of the Rebel Army, they not only brought down the tyranny, but their example changed the history of the 20th century-and the century to come. Contains many never-before-published documents and letters from the period. Armando Hart, national coordinator of the July 26 Movement was one of the central organizers of the urban underground. For more than four decades he has been a leader of the revolutionary government, serving as minister of education and minister of culture, as well as a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba. What is most striking about this book is the very strong picture Hart gives of the young revolutionists like himself who risks, and often gave, their lives for the Cuban revolution. Many, like Hart, the son of a judge, devoted himself to the revolution even before he finished law school. He and the generation of young women and men he represented never gave one thought to successful careers, but to overthrowing the dictatorship. Even Hart's father left his seat on the bench to side with the Fidelistas. What also strikes me is beyond the history of struggle and sacrifices--Hart himself was in prisoned twice during the revolution and was the target of an attempt by prison guards and cops to kill him that was prevented only by an uprising in his prison when they came for him--is how how Hart roots the struggle of the Cuban revolutionaries in the history and previous struggles of the Cuban people. Hart's long political and personal letter to his parents after his brother Enrique died in the struggle which assesses not so much the personal loss, but the political duty the fighting for the Cuba revolution, is worth the price of the book alone.

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