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I Was Cuba: Treasures from the Ramiro Fernandez Collection Hardcover – October 11, 2007


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I Was Cuba: Treasures from the Ramiro Fernandez Collection + Cuba Then: Rare and Classic Images from the Ramiro Fernandez Collection + Havana Before Castro: When Cuba was a Tropical Playground
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811860531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811860536
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 9.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin Kwan creates books with some of the world's leading artists, designers and institutions. He has produced acclaimed visual books for Oprah Winfrey, Gore Vidal, David Rockwell and Elizabeth Taylor, to name a few.  In 2004, he produced Presenting Celia Cruz, the celebrated photography tribute to Cuba's "Queen of Salsa."

Peter Castro is the managing editor of People Magazine. 

Ramiro Fernandez was born in Havana to a family involved in the pharmaceutical industry. He left Cuba in 1960, settling first in Palm Beach County and then in New York, where he was a photography editor at Time Inc. for 25 years, working for such titles as Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, People, and People En Español.  He is currently the Photography Director for Americas Quarterly.  Fernandez first began to collect at the suggestion of his grandmother, who foresaw the coming turmoil and urged him to collect images of a Cuba that was fast disappearing. As a witness to the revolution in his youth, Fernandez's consuming passion has been to build a collection that can serve as a testament to the Cuba he remembers.

More About the Author

Kevin Kwan was born in Singapore and lives in Manhattan. He is currently putting the finishing touches on "China Rich Girlfriend," the sequel to "Crazy Rich Asians." For the latest news and information, please check out:

WEBSITE: www.kevinkwanbooks.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/kevinkwanbooks

INSTAGRAM: crazyrichasians

TWITTER: @crazyrichasians








Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The collection of photos is magnificent.
Javier F. alonso
When my mother unwrapped the book on Christmas Day and started to look at the pictures with my dad, tears came from both their eyes.
Jose Mencia
Very romantic subject matter, well presented.
Chuck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Radanovich on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow, now THIS is a masterpiece. Well chosen material juxtaposed in creative and sometimes very funny ways, and a singular look at a well-known subject. The collection that these photos came from must be truly magnificent. I already bought ten copies for my Cuba-obsessed friends, and I'm just getting started. Both the collector and book designer get the highest marks possible!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jose Mencia on December 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had originally bought the book for me, but when I opened the book and saw all the beautiful pictures of what Cuba once was, I knew I had to give this book to my parents. When my mother unwrapped the book on Christmas Day and started to look at the pictures with my dad, tears came from both their eyes. My mother hugged me and could not stop thanking me for the gift. Those of Cuban Heritage, please buy his book, for "YOU ARE CUBA" and you won't regret it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jose A. Gonzalez on November 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent and exquisite gathering of outstanding pictures of my native country with no politcal emphasis, just plain art at its best. The collection as placed on the book gives the viewers a fantastic "review" of the various epochs in Cuba. Outstanding!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Jolly on October 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This tidy little volume is worth much more than it costs. The nicely embossed cover has a "quality" feel, and the pictures deliver a unique experience.

I bought this as a birthday gift for the father of my fiancee -- he's visited Cuba on a business basis (he's in an industry that IS allowed to do limited biz with the island's current regime). Anyway, he was delighted.

This brilliantly chosen photo collection illuminates a Cuba that no longer exists. The thing to remember is, the "lost" Cuba is not dead, just slumbering beneath the surface of the modern Communist state. The Cuban past caught in these pix explains a lot of the present reality; it may be VERY relevant to the near future, when Castro is gone and Cuba's mixed history and modern experience recombine. Highly recommended. P.S. - I also bought, and he also loved, Es Cuba Es Cuba: Life and Love on an Illegal Island, a nicely written love-and-hate story of contradictions in contemporary Cuban life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. E. Fernandez on December 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I liked the book very much and enjoyed the photos and the comments but was greatly surprised to find Cienfuegos, my hometown, in the province of Camaguey!!! Before Castro, Cienfuegos was in the provice of Las Villas. The Castro government changed that and made Cienfuegos a province by itself, but never Camaguey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Desiree Santana on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book has the most amazing collection of authetic pictures from cuba I have EVER seen! I met Ramiro (the man who collected the photos) at Florida State University and he explained to me how he collected all these photos from Cuba. It really is a fantastic book and the price is UNBEATABLE!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ira on June 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic collectionn of photos that take you to another place in another time. Beautifully sequenced and with great essays. I hope Mr. Fernandez has more books in him. Give this a sixth star. And a seventh.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mimcou on March 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for a neighbor who escaped Castro's Cuba.
It is a wonderful collection of pictures taken pre-Castro and for
my neighbor a remembrance of an island he misses to this day.
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