Gr 7 Up Beginning with October 27, 1492, the day Columbus dropped anchor off Cuba's shores, Dolan offers a general overview of the history of Cuba and especially its relation with the U.S. After two brief chapters devoted to the first 400 years, the bulk of the book outlines Cuban history since 1898, the year the U.S. declared war on Spaindue to the sinking of the Maine in Havana harborand helped Cuba gain its independence. Several chapters are devoted to Fidel Castro and his takeover of the country. He is painted in such detail that readers cannot help being aware of enigma of the man. As much attention is given to the Cuban view of the U.S. as to the American view of its Caribbean neighbor; there has always been a great deal of mistrust on both sides. The book presents a fair and balanced portrait that will serve as a good introduction to the country. Dennis C. Tucker, Bethel Col . , Mishawaka, Ind.