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.
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.