A New History
November 11, 2005
Events in Fidel Castro’s island nation often command international attention and just as often inspire controversy. Impassioned debate over situations as diverse as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Elián Gonzáles affair is characteristic not only of modern times but of centuries of Cuban history. In this concise and up-to-date book, British journalist Richard Gott casts a fresh eye on the history of the Caribbean island from its pre-Columbian origins to the present day. He provides a European perspective on a country that is perhaps too frequently seen solely from the American point of view.
The author emphasizes such little-known aspects of Cuba’s history as its tradition of racism and violence, its black rebellions, the survival of its Indian peoples, and the lasting influence of Spain. The book also offers an original look at aspects of the Revolution, including Castro’s relationship with the Soviet Union, military exploits in Africa, and his attempts to promote revolution in Latin America and among American blacks. In a concluding section, Gott tells the extraordinary story of the Revolution’s survival in the post-Soviet years.
Richard Gott, a British journalist and historian with many years’ experience in Latin America, first visited Cuba in 1963 and has reported from the island many times since. He is the author of the classic work on post-Castro revolutionary movements, Guerrilla Movements in Latin America, and most recently of In the Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chavez and the Transformation of Venezuela.
“This is an accessible and well researched account by Gott.”—Richard Lapper, Financial Times
“Gott is always an interesting, well-informed, and engaging writer.”—Foreign Affairs
“An excellent addition to Hugh Thomas’s classic Cuba and other more recent histories, this book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.”—Library Journal
“Written with verve and scholarship, Cuba: A New History is the best history yet of this beautiful West Indian Island.”—Ian Thomson, Saturday Telegraph
“Told with simplicity and a fresh synthesis. . . . A wonderful account combining powerful journalistic skills and insightful scholarship.”—Eliseo Cardona, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Richard Gott’s invaluable Cuba: A New History dispels many convenient myths.”—Adam Feinstein, The Guardian
“Gott achieves the almost impossible feat of a measured, if appreciative, portrait of Cuba’s leaders.”—Alistair Hennessy, The New Left Review
“It is the distilled thought of one who has studied the island’s history and closely followed the career of Castro, its leader since 1959.”—Hugh O’ Shaughnessy, BBC History Magazine