Cuba: A New History

Overview

Events in Fidel Castro’s island nation often command international attention and just as often inspire controversy. Impassioned debate over situations as diverse as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Elián Gonzáles affair is characteristic not only of modern times but of centuries of Cuban history. In this concise and up-to-date book, British journalist Richard Gott casts a fresh eye on the history of the Caribbean island from its pre-Columbian origins to the present day. He provides a European perspective on a ...

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Overview

Events in Fidel Castro’s island nation often command international attention and just as often inspire controversy. Impassioned debate over situations as diverse as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Elián Gonzáles affair is characteristic not only of modern times but of centuries of Cuban history. In this concise and up-to-date book, British journalist Richard Gott casts a fresh eye on the history of the Caribbean island from its pre-Columbian origins to the present day. He provides a European perspective on a country that is perhaps too frequently seen solely from the American point of view.
The author emphasizes such little-known aspects of Cuba’s history as its tradition of racism and violence, its black rebellions, the survival of its Indian peoples, and the lasting influence of Spain. The book also offers an original look at aspects of the Revolution, including Castro’s relationship with the Soviet Union, military exploits in Africa, and his attempts to promote revolution in Latin America and among American blacks. In a concluding section, Gott tells the extraordinary story of the Revolution’s survival in the post-Soviet years.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
For at least a generation of Cuba watchers, the history of the Caribbean island nation began with Castro's revolution in 1959. Yet Cuba has a long and storied history as a Spanish colony, a target for navies and pirates from across the globe, a people struggling for independence, and an American-controlled republic, all before Fidel. Writing from a European perspective, British journalist/historian Gott provides a fresh if not entirely new history of Cuba, without American prejudices. Using secondary sources, Gott, who has written on revolutionary movements in Latin America, tells the intriguing history of 500 years of a nation dominated by two themes-internal security and external attack. Gott contends that the future of Cuba was set not under Castro, but during the slave importations of the 16th to the 18th centuries. He asserts that Cuba was moving toward an economic revolution even before Castro's rise to power. An excellent addition to Hugh Thomas's classic Cuba and other more recent histories, this book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., AL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“This is an accessible and well researched account by Gott.”—Richard Lapper, Financial Times Magazine (London)

“Richard Gott’s invaluable Cuba: A New History dispels many convenient myths.”—Adam Feinstein, The Guardian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300111149
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 777,384
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.66 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Gott, a British journalist and historian with many years’ experience in Latin America, first visited Cuba in 1963 and has reported from the island many times since. He is the author of the classic work on post-Castro revolutionary movements, Guerrilla Movements in Latin America, and most recently of In the Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chavez and the Transformation of Venezuela.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the Cuban people 5
1 Insecure settlement : slaughter, slavery and piracy, 1511-1740 11
2 The Spanish empire under challenge, 1741-1868 39
3 Wars of independence and occupation, 1868-1902 71
4 The Cuban Republic, 1902-1952 113
5 Castro's revolution takes shape, 1953-1961 147
6 The revolution in power, 1961-1968 190
7 Inside the Soviet camp, 1968-1985 235
8 Cuba stands alone, 1985-2003 273
App. A Letter from John Quincey Adams, US secretary of state, to Hugh Nelson, the American minister in Madrid, 23 April 1823 326
App. B The Platt Amendment, 1902 327
App. C Extracts from the Helms-Burton Act, 1996 329
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    VERY, VERY CANDID!!!, BAD FAITH ???

    I am a cuban, I was a teacher there once. What a bunch of #$%^ this book have about the true facts..., I finished reading it just to see the author's parciality. He is a good writer, no question on that, but that he is writing from his misplaced ideals, there is also no question...I reconmed that the author research more on the subject, before expecting serious readers that know the truth about Cuba & its dictator, buy his book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2004

    Good account of Cuba's struggle for national independence

    Richard Gott is a British journalist and historian with many yearsf experience of covering Latin America. He has written a very useful book on Cubafs long struggle for national independence and sovereignty. The first third of the book examines the Cuban peoplefs struggle against Spanish occupation from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The rest of the book looks at Cubafs 20th century struggle against the US empire. The USA intervened militarily in Cuba in 1906-09, 1912, 1917-23 and 1961, always on the pretexts of establishing democracy and order. In 1902 the US state imposed the Platt Amendment on Cuba. Its seventh paragraph gave the USA the erightf to establish permanent military bases on Cuba. It was repealed in 1934, but the dictator Batista signed a new treaty allowing the USA to keep its huge military base at Guantanamo Bay. Gott shows how in 1959 the people defeated the US-backed dictator by relying on their own forces. He observes that the British and Yugoslavian governments armed Batista to the last moment. Gott possibly devotes too little attention to the Cuban peoplefs successes in developing their country. He notes, without exploring, Cubafs remarkable achievements in health and education and he fails to mention its pioneering pharmaceutical industry. But he gives due prominence to Cubafs internationalism, particularly to its selfless military support to the Angolan people in 1988. Nelson Mandela later visited Havana to thank Fidel personally for Cubafs assistance in the struggle against apartheid, gThe decisive defeat of the racist army in Cuito Cuanavale was a victory for all Africa ... It made it possible for Angola to enjoy peace and establish its own sovereignty c and for the people of Namibia to achieve their independence. The decisive defeat of the aggressive apartheid forces destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor. The defeat of the apartheid army served as an inspiration to the struggling people of South Africa.h Cuba has a proud record of upholding workersf nationalism and of practical internationalism. Whatever foreign observers hope or fear, the Cuban people will never surrender their national independence and sovereignty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2004

    The undenialable history of Cuba

    The history of cuba has been well interpreted by the author of this remarkable piece of litereture which contends itself to be the most truthful of the events that took place on the Cuban revolution

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