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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beat of modern Cuba throbs on every page
Eugene Robinson is a fine journalist who writes with style and confidence. His reportage is highly original. He completely avoids the well-worn path of hoary political analysis and gets out onto the streets and into the clubs of Cuba to produce a fascinating account of modern Cuba at the end of the Castro era. Some of the passages in this book really resonate - travel...
Published on October 16, 2004 by Jonathan Miller

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1 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Be Over It.
Goodness! Get off the man's back and give up the grudge. Fidel is still trying to run a country. You don't like it? Don't go! Very simple.
Published on September 15, 2004 by S. Waters


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beat of modern Cuba throbs on every page, October 16, 2004
By 
This review is from: Last Dance in Havana (Hardcover)
Eugene Robinson is a fine journalist who writes with style and confidence. His reportage is highly original. He completely avoids the well-worn path of hoary political analysis and gets out onto the streets and into the clubs of Cuba to produce a fascinating account of modern Cuba at the end of the Castro era. Some of the passages in this book really resonate - travel writing of a high order that illuminates a big picture by reference to the everyday culture of a people who have learned to escape from their oppression by means of the language of music. Arriba Eugene Robinson! This book really does add to the sum of collective knowledge about Cuba.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good intro to the music scene in Havana, March 4, 2005
By 
kashasu (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Dance in Havana (Hardcover)
The book is an easy read and gives a good feel of Havana in the last few years, especially as regards the music scene. Robinson's ability in capturing the atmosphere, more than anything else, earns him points. The often-made claim that music and culture are intimately tied together in Cuba is given substantial anecdotal evidence based on observation and interviews. His knowledge of the Cuban music scene prior to the advent of rap in the late 90's seems sketchy though, and the book could certainly have been helped with more research here.

Robinson also scores by pondering the intriguing question of whether music might be the source for a nascent civil society in Cuba, though the idea is not entirely new.

His penchant for Afro-Cuban culture and the problematics of racism has its merits, though his presentation of these being the most urgent and potentially boat-rocking social issues lose a little of their thrust when considering that most of his narrative takes place in Havana, and to a lesser extent Santiago and Matanzas, all of them bastions of Afro-Cuban culture. His North American optic is overly obvious at times, and he actually devotes a chapter to US exiles in Cuba.

Unfortunately, Robinson is prone to exaggeration and over-simplified evaluations that he serves en passant as offhand remarks. In quite a few instances, what is passed off as factual is actually speculatory, and all in all his arguments seem based largely on personal experience and not on any serious research. His antipathy toward Europeans (portrayed grossly as pot-bellied sex-seekers) also does little for his credibility.

Definitely worth a read for those who want to know the temperature on Havana's streets and how to read it, and for such sharp and sweaping comments as this one: "In the land of chronic scarcity, about the only things in perpetual surplus are vanity, ingenuity, and time."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Last Dance in Havana, February 7, 2010
By 
Margo Arrowsmith (Raleigh, NC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Last Dance in Havana (Paperback)
This book is amazing. It is a poetic and hardhitting view into the life in today's Cuba. Robinson doesn't miss a thing and is very clear about what is good and the many, many problems and flaws. It is hard hitting journalism from a Pultizer Prize winner with an open view to the magic of the dance which is what truly identifies the people of Cuba.
[...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cubans Dance While Castro Decliines, October 7, 2010
By 
Cecile Farber (BRONX, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Last Dance in Havana (Paperback)
Over a ten year period Robinson visits Cuba several times and reports what he has seen. He admires the Cuban people and their ability to endure what Castro has wrought. Above all, Cubans dance. They dance because it doesn't cost much and because that's all they have to relieve their other deprivations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, October 22, 2004
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Love to Read (Santa Barbara CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Dance in Havana (Hardcover)
I thought this was a very well done book....both about the music scene and the changes in life in Cuba in the past few years. Clearly Mr. Robinson knows his subject, and writes beautifully. It took me back to the clubs and streets and to the people whom he obviously cares about. Well worth the time.
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1 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Be Over It., September 15, 2004
By 
S. Waters "ChicaCubana" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Dance in Havana (Hardcover)
Goodness! Get off the man's back and give up the grudge. Fidel is still trying to run a country. You don't like it? Don't go! Very simple.
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Last Dance in Havana
Last Dance in Havana by Eugene Robinson (Paperback - June 27, 2007)
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