Author(s): Alan West-Duran
As American-Cuban relations begin to warm, tourists are rushing to discover the throwback tropical paradise just eighty miles off of the American coast. But even as diplomatic relations are changing and the country opens up to the Western world, Cuba remains a rare and fascinating place.
Cuba: A Cultural History tells the story of Cuba's history through an exploration of its rich and vibrant culture. Rather than offer a timeline of Cuban history or a traditional genre-by-genre history of Cuban culture, Alan West-Dur�n invites readers to enter Cuban history from the perspective of the island's uniquely creative cultural forms. He traces the restless island as it ebbs and flows with the power, beauty, and longings of its culture and history.
In a world where revolutionary socialism is an almost quaint reminder of the decades-old Cold War, the island nation remains one of the few on the planet guided by a Communist party, still committed to fighting imperialism, opposed to the injustices of globalization, and wedded to the dream of one day building a classless society, albeit in a distant future. But as this book shows, Cuba is more than a struggling socialist country--it is a nation with a complex and turbulent history and a rich and varied culture.
“Alan West-Durán’s Cuba: A Cultural History presents a broad overview of how varied cultural forms in Cuba have evolved and intersected with the island’s complicated history since independence. Through pertinent illustrations from the areas of literature, film, music, and the visual arts, West-Durán explores how specific cultural events and representations are actually instruments for conveying the story of Cuba’s history over the last hundred-plus years.
...West-Durán’s book is a relevant and necessary contribution for cogently mapping out Cuban cultural history’s intricate landscape. Written in a clear style that is accessible to readers across fields, Cuba: A Cultural History is a must-read for those seeking a better understanding of the unique relationship between cultural production and the complex layers of Cuban history.”
Raul Rosales-Herrera – The Washington Independent Review of Books (JC BookGrocer)