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A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba (Envisioning Cuba) [Kindle Edition]

Alejandro de la Fuente
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After thirty years of anticolonial struggle against Spain and four years of military occupation by the United States, Cuba formally became an independent republic in 1902. The nationalist coalition that fought for Cuba's freedom, a movement in which blacks and mulattoes were well represented, had envisioned an egalitarian and inclusive country--a nation for all, as Jose Marti described it. But did the Cuban republic, and later the Cuban revolution, live up to these expectations?

Tracing the formation and reformulation of nationalist ideologies, government policies, and different forms of social and political mobilization in republican and postrevolutionary Cuba, Alejandro de la Fuente explores the opportunities and limitations that Afro-Cubans experienced in such areas as job access, education, and political representation. Challenging assumptions of both underlying racism and racial democracy, he contends that racism and antiracism coexisted within Cuban nationalism and, in turn, Cuban society. This coexistence has persisted to this day, despite significant efforts by the revolutionary government to improve the lot of the poor and build a nation that was truly for all.

Editorial Reviews


This is a thoughtful and systematic examination of the shifting meanings of race in the political process in Cuba. (Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan)


A long-awaited study on historical race relations in modern Cuba. . . . Recommended reading for those interested in the history, culture, and politics of Cuba.--Colonial Latin American Historical Review|This is a thoughtful and systematic examination of the shifting meanings of race in the political process in Cuba. It takes the comparative study of citizenship in the twentieth century to a new level of subtlety and sophistication.--Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan|A highly ambitious study of the role of race in Cuban politics. . . . No monograph on Cuban history to date has placed race so squarely and fruitfully at the center of Cuba's twentieth-century history; and none has been able to combine so successfully, the way this book does, a sweeping political narrative with careful attention to detail, nuance, and contradiction. . . . Important and innovative. . . . A lasting contribution to the field of Cuban history, as well as to the contemporary study of the revolution and its uncertain future.--American Historical Review|An important and original contribution to the reassessment of race in Cuba.--Journal of Latin American Studies|Alejandro de la Fuente tells a powerful and intriguing story with a cool, even-handed detachment and the authority of prodigious research. By showing how racial ideologies and relations are implicated in revolutionary politics and nation formation, how economic and political forces interact to determine a given racial formation, and the diverse processes, pressure points, and stimuli for transformations in the social construction of race, this book makes a significant contribution to comparative race relations.--Thomas C. Holt, University of Chicago|This is first-rate scholarship: judicious, sophisticated, and intellectually rewarding.--Historian

Product Details

  • File Size: 2545 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (April 30, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IK8A32
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,071 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read December 12, 2012
By Miranda
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read this book before an academic social work trip to Cuba. Nice mix of culture and history
I found this to be an easy read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars December 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book
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More About the Author

Alejandro de la Fuente was born and grew up in Havana, Cuba, where he worked as a researcher at the Institute of History and coordinated a research group for the Attorney General of Cuba. He also taught legal history at the University of Havana between 1986 and 1990. These were years of hope and tension in Cuba: young intellectuals were trying (under the influence of Perestroika in the Soviet Union) to democratize the country's cultural and political lives. In the early 1990s, however, many of them decided to leave after realizing that the government would not tolerate change. Thanks to a "Quincentenary of the Discovery of America" award by the Bank of Spain, Alejandro managed to leave Cuba and went to Europe in 1991. He completed a PhD in History at the University of Pittsburgh, where he now teaches. He is a specialist on slavery, comparative race relations, and Cuban history. His work has been published in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and German.


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