Cuba in the Shadow of Change: Daily Life in the Twilight of the Revolution

Cuba in the Shadow of Change: Daily Life in the Twilight of the Revolution

by Amelia Rosenberg Weinreb
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University Press of Florida


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Cuba in the Shadow of Change: Daily Life in the Twilight of the Revolution

"This book is a masterpiece. Accurate, lyrical, and empathetic in its illumination of the lives of ordinary Cubans, as they survive and thrive in the bizarre economic and political environment of Cuba during its 'Special Period.'"—Archibald Ritter, Carleton University

Amelia Weinreb takes readers deep inside the everyday life of middle-class Cubans—arguably the majority of citizens on the island. Un-theorized and under-described, it is a group that is portrayed honestly, accurately, and empathetically.

The political and economic systems of Cuba in the post-Soviet period pose ongoing challenges to ordinary Cubans as they struggle in the waning years of the Castro regime. Weinreb demonstrates that the major reason they have been ignored in the scholarly literature is because remaining obscure is one of their strategies for coping with these challenges.

Weinreb has made repeated visits to the island, frequently living in local communities along with her family. Thus her ethnography of this "shadow public" is based upon traditional participant-observer methodology. Her experiences—from the clothesline, the back bedroom, the kitchen table, and the living room sofa—allow her an unprecedented opportunity to bring to outside readers the reality of daily life in Cuba, and she includes an epilogue that addresses citizen and consumer changes that have taken place since Raúl Castro became president in February 2008.

No other book reveals so much about the anxieties and clandestine plans that have shaped Cubans' lives during the final years of the Fidel Castro era.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813036984
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 09/15/2012
Series: Contemporary Cuba Series
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Amelia Rosenberg Weinreb is a lecturer in the department of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Cuba in the Shadow of Change: Daily Life in the Twilight of the Revolution 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
PriyaU More than 1 year ago
Cuba in the Shadow of Change provides an in depth understanding of life amongst the Shadow Public, a new class of people that has developed during Cuba's period of late socialism. Although scholarly in content, Weinreb's account balances academic analysis with interesting and meaningful anecdotes, quotes and personal experience. It is well-written, engaging, and illuminating. Not just a helpful read for someone studying Cuba, but an important read for everyone to understand what really is going on just 90 miles away!