The Structure of Cuban History: Meanings and Purpose of the Past

The Structure of Cuban History: Meanings and Purpose of the Past

by Louis A. Pérez
     
 

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In this expansive and contemplative history of Cuba, Louis A. Perez Jr. argues that the country's memory of the past served to transform its unfinished nineteenth-century liberation project into a twentieth-century revolutionary metaphysics. The ideal of national sovereignty that was anticipated as the outcome of Spain's defeat in 1898 was heavily compromised by the U…  See more details below

Overview

In this expansive and contemplative history of Cuba, Louis A. Perez Jr. argues that the country's memory of the past served to transform its unfinished nineteenth-century liberation project into a twentieth-century revolutionary metaphysics. The ideal of national sovereignty that was anticipated as the outcome of Spain's defeat in 1898 was heavily compromised by the U.S. military intervention that immediately followed. To many Cubans it seemed almost as if the new nation had been overtaken by another country's history.
Memory of thwarted independence and aggrievement--of the promise of sovereignty ever receding into the future--contributed to the development in the early republic of a political culture shaped by aspirations to fulfill the nineteenth-century promise of liberation, and it was central to the claim of the revolution of 1959 as the triumph of history. In this capstone book, Perez discerns in the Cuban past the promise that decisively shaped the character of Cuban nationality.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I find myself wondering whether the rest of us should henceforth desist from writing about the topic, so stunning is the impact of The Structure of Cuban History."--Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham

"A thought-provoking and thoughtful assessment of historical ideas of Cuba and Cubanness, as they were forged, interrupted, disputed, imagined, fulfilled for some, and contested by many, from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries--all at the hands of a masterful historian of Cuba."--Jorge I. Dominguez, Harvard University

Library Journal
11/01/2013
Absolutely no one knows Cuba like Pérez (dir., Inst. for the Study of the Americas, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture), author of more than a dozen books on the subject. His latest work is more about the history of Cubans than a Cuban history. Pérez looks to the past through memory, experience, and written tradition to tell how Cubans refer to knowledge of their history in order to meet their current needs as a nation. No Latin American country has survived more wars of independence and occupation than Cuba. This title is about how its people understand their history and how Fidel Castro was not the first Cuban to fight for independence, one that means freedom from the United States. For most Cubans, the future continues the age-old struggle of revolution—Cuba for Cubans. VERDICT No reading for the casual observer, Pérez's scholarly treatise is a challenging addition to the ever-growing body of Cuban histories. Recommended for an academic audience, one that aspires to a comprehensive look at the country, past and present.—Boyd Childress, formerly with Auburn Univ. Libs., AL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469608860
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
09/16/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
900,784
File size:
4 MB

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
This book is a masterpiece and deserves to be read, not just by those working in the field of Cuban studies, but more widely, by those working on manifestations of post-colonial nationalism that have emerged anywhere in the world, and also by students of ideology.--Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham

Meet the Author

Louis A. Perez Jr. is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the Academia de la Historia de Cuba, Perez is author, most recently, of Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos.

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