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4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for those interested in the development of Cuba and its railways from the earliest days
The timeline is developed as a long compilation of facts. The narrative jumps around the island and within a single paragraph locations around Cuba will be mentioned. Only someone with an intimate knowledge of Cuba will know where these locations are without indicative maps alongside. The book concentrates on standard gauge railways when the majority of the railways...
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should be read as one eats Fuji fish with due respect to the poison
Zanetti Lecuona, Oscar and Alejandro Garcia Alvarez 1998 Sugar & railroads: a Cuban history, 1837-1959. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, (translated by Franklin W, Knight and Mary Todd from Caminos para el azucar 1987 Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, Havana) ISBN-10 0807823856 ISBN-13 978-0807823859.

This is an interesting book with...
Published on March 6, 2007 by Laurence Daley


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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should be read as one eats Fuji fish with due respect to the poison, March 6, 2007
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Laurence Daley (Corvallis, OR USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sugar and Railroads: A Cuban History, 1837-1959 (Paperback)
Zanetti Lecuona, Oscar and Alejandro Garcia Alvarez 1998 Sugar & railroads: a Cuban history, 1837-1959. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, (translated by Franklin W, Knight and Mary Todd from Caminos para el azucar 1987 Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, Havana) ISBN-10 0807823856 ISBN-13 978-0807823859.

This is an interesting book with much useful information on Cuban railroads and Cuba in general. However, it should only be read as one eats Fuji fish with due respect to the poison. This work is a product of an official Cuban government press and thus infused with communist propaganda and factual distortion. For instance the discussion of Horatio S. Rubens completely omits reference to the work Rubens did for Cuban Independence as lawyer for the Mambi Independence fighters (see Liberty: The Story of Cuba (Hardcover) by Horatio S. Rubens ISBN-10 0404006337; ISBN-13: 978-0404006334). In this Zanetti and Garcia volume the section on Cuban president and then dictator Gerardo Machado (pp. 309-337 and others) much emphasis is given to labor conflict, and yet on p. 337 the tolerance of Machado for the Cuban Communist Party (Stalinist) is strikingly out of context, and the collaboration of this party with the increasingly dictatorial Machado is finessed e.g. p. 321 "With Varona murdered and the Hermandad handed over to traitorous yellow leaders, the railroad proletariat was helpless against the Machado dictatorship" (page numbers are taken from the hard cover edition). And then there is the almost comical ideology of the statement on page 306 "Since the victorious October (Soviet) Revolution had sown panic among the exploiters..." Still the book is useful to track down details of Cuban history such as the map on page 230 which emphasizes the importance of the (Victoria de las) Tunas station in the 1917 Chambelona War (e.g. The New York Times. March 8, 1917, Thursday p 1. "Pablo Menocal, brother of the President and commander of the militia forces in Oriente Province, telegraphed today that General (Calixto Garcia-Iñiguez) Enamorado, hearing that a band of rebels were burning the cars at Dominguez Station, attacked, killing eighteen, including their chief, Capitan José Pantoja."). Thus until, as a historian friend points out, the Cuban files are again open to general inspection one cannot expect objective histories from inside the island. Therefore when one seeks information on the highly developed Cuban railroad system, one must by present necessity refer with great caution to this very flawed book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for those interested in the development of Cuba and its railways from the earliest days, January 24, 2014
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This review is from: Sugar and Railroads: A Cuban History, 1837-1959 (Paperback)
The timeline is developed as a long compilation of facts. The narrative jumps around the island and within a single paragraph locations around Cuba will be mentioned. Only someone with an intimate knowledge of Cuba will know where these locations are without indicative maps alongside. The book concentrates on standard gauge railways when the majority of the railways commissioned before and after 1900 were narrow gauge railways to serve the sugar mills, some of which were very extensive. In 2014 there are only five operational narrow gauge railways that remain, three at sugar mills. There were hundreds before. Most were converted to standard gauge or closed in 2002 or well before. Very good book for those with an understanding of Cuba and an interest in the development of public and commercial transport. A "must buy" for those with my level of interest. Some reviewers complain about post revolution bias, but this is nothing compared to the facts. I had this sent over from the USA, so I must be serious!
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Sugar and Railroads: A Cuban History, 1837-1959
Sugar and Railroads: A Cuban History, 1837-1959 by Oscar Zanetti Lecuona (Paperback - August 31, 1998)
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