Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The Latin America Readers)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars24
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on August 5, 2006
I have always been interested in Cuba, but I have tended to focus on the Health System there and have learned very little about Cuba before Castro and the revolution. This book gives an overall picture of Cuba as it developed through the years from all different perspectives, both positive and negative. Even though the different sections are simply short excerpts from different works, the editors have been able to put everything together in order to show all different aspects of Cuba and its history.
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on January 30, 2011
`The Cuba Reader' is a simply outstanding anthology of Cuban speeches, legal texts, poems, fiction, essays, photography, historical analysis and more besides. It starts at pre-colonial Cuba and looks at the indigenous population, before moving onto the slavery and sugar plantations, the Batista regime, the revolution, all the way up to the `special period'. This isn't quite a coherent narrative of events in Cuba (rather lots of snap shots of various aspects of Cuban life), but coupled with a good history (Like `Cuba: A New History' by R Gott) this makes for a wonderfully rounded view of this fascinating country. The speeches are particularly interesting to read, as are the interviews with Cubans which gives a deeper insight into their country. I love how the book flowed from essay to poem, to fiction exert and then political text, to a landmark speech and then back to a poem (for example). It makes for an engaging and rounded insight into the various facets of Cuban society. If you have already read about Cuba and have a thirst for more information then this is highly recommended and if you want a clear narrative history of the country, try the aforementioned book, but make sure you come back and look at this, as it is truly fascinating, well researched and great to dip in and out of.

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on May 14, 2007
This is the best documentary history of Cuba printed recently. It has not only documents, but also pictures, songs, etc. As Cuba is a controversial subject, the authors give broad swath of documents to present Cuban history.
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on April 25, 2009
I couldn't put the book down. Perhaps because I miss my country so much.
The book is so accurate I actually traveled back in time.
I totally recommend this read especially to those whose nostalgia for the old country continues to glow.

Andrew J. Rodriguez
Award-winning author: "Adios, Havana," a Memoir
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on March 18, 2014
This book is essential if you plan to do serious research on Cuba. It is essentially a compilation of the major documents of great importance written in or on Cuba. It starts with colonial writings (passages from Spanish colonizers) and works its way through time up to and through the Cuban revolution. It contains everything from speeches to journal entries and songs. It is incredibly comprehensive and the summaries at the beginning of each passage are instrumental in guiding the researcher through so much material quickly.
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on February 28, 2014
This is not a normal history but if you are willing to read an anthology rather than a normal guide, this will give you an excellent description of Cuban life and history. I have read the Peru reader as well and this whole series is excellent. The book is very long and inevitably some things were left out but overall I found this to be extremely thorough. I was disappointed that some of the poems did not have side by side Spanish and English translations but that is a minor quibble. This book includes plenty of Cuban and non-Cuban sources.
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on November 29, 2012
This book is "must reading" for anyone whose memory is blank on Cuba. A long list of relatively short essays tracing the long, colorful, sometimes painful Cuban history. We read it in short takes of two, three chapters at a sitting. Again, a "must read" for Cuba buffs and travelers. If you are lucky enough to book a legal trip, give yourself a few months before departure to this beautiful island to read through this thick volume. Be prepared to re-read some of the scholarly essays for a full understanding of Cuba's sometimes bumpy, sometimes gracious history.
PAUL WM. SCHUBERT
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on April 6, 2012
Good book for looking into primary sources in Cuban history. Sometimes it came up short on exactly what I was looking for, but, overall, it has a good number of sources.
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on December 5, 2012
This was a great overview of the history, culture and politics of Cuba. A huge volume, it contains a handful of pages from a wide variety of articles and sources on each topic -- allowing readers to choose what they want to focus on and what they can pass by. It was a great companion on a recent trip to Cuba and made the trip much more interesting as I felt grounded a bit in the history, without having to read dozens of books.
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on July 8, 2015
As the other reviews have already said, The Cuba Reader is a compilation of short stories, poems, newspaper articles etc. interspersed with sections which provide historical background.

This is a good book for people who want to see Cuban history through the eyes of Cubans. It will make you fall in love with the people and their culture.
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