Cover image for Encyclopedia of Cuba : people, history, culture
Encyclopedia of Cuba : people, history, culture
Martínez-Fernández, Luis, 1960-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
2 volumes (xxix, 688 pages) : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 27 cm
General Note:
"An Oryx book."
Geographic Term:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1754.E53 2003 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
F1754.E53 2003 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Presenting an objective, balanced view of Cuba, 82 distinguished scholars and researchers survey the country's tempestuous history from past to present. This wonderfully comprehensive two-volume set also tells the stories of Cuban exiles in the United States and other countries. Over 700 entries are presented in 12 topical chapters:

- National Symbols

- Geography, the Environment, and Urbanization

- History: The Colonial Period (Pre-Columbian Era to 1901)

- History: The Republican Period (1902-1958)

- History and Government: The Revolutionary Period (1959-)

- Contemporary Economy and Society

- Literature and the Social Sciences

- Performing Arts

- Plastic Arts

- Popular Culture and Religion

- Sports

- The Cuban Diaspora

Also included are a chronology, more than 200 illustrations (many in color), photographs, maps, tables, graphs, historical and legal documents, U.S. laws relating to Cuba, information on governors and presidents, and information on Cuban exiles in the United States and other countries. Greenwood's Encyclopedia of Cuba is a unique, thorough, and impartial reference set, ideal for high school and university students, scholars, and the general public alike.

Author Notes

LUIS MARTÍNEZ-FERNÁNDEZ is Director of the Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies Program at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of several books, including Torn between Empires: Economy Society and Patterns of Political Thought in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1840-1878 (1994), Fighting Slavery in the Caribbean: The Life and Times of a British Family in Nineteenth-Century Havana (1998), and Protestantism and Political Conflict in the Nineteenth-Century Hispanic Caribbean (2002).

D. H. FIGUEREDO is the director of the Library and Media Center at Bloomfield College, New Jersey. He has published over 60 articles on Latin American studies in anthologies, book, and journals. He has also published four children's books and several short stories that have been included in anthologies such as Short Stories International . He is a frequent contributor to the Multicultural Review and Booklist .

LOUIS A. PÉREZ JR. is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of several books on Cuban history, among them Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution (1995) and On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, & Culture (2001).

LUIS GONZÁLEZ is president of González & Associates, a literary agency. He has contributed to numerous reference works during more than 15 years in publishing. He was project manager of the critically acclaimed work Scientific American: Triumph of Discovery .

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The editors intend this work to be a nonpoliticized look at Cuban people, politics, history, and culture. Some 80 contributors write honestly and objectively of the varied viewpoints of Cuban citizens and expatriates. The encyclopedia is not arranged in strict alphabetical order. Instead, there are 12 topical chapters, among them "Geography, Environment, and Urbanization"; "History and Government: The Revolutionary Period (1959-)"; "Popular Culture and Religion"; and "Cuban Diaspora." Within each chapter the entries are in alphabetical order and vary in length from one paragraph to several pages. Most are about 250 words. Examples include Baseball, Cattle ranching, Gays and lesbians, Little Havana, Radio Marti, Revolution of 1933, and Secada, Jon. Each entry is signed and has a list for further reading. Cross-references are in bold print. There are many black-and-white pictures throughout, and volume 1 offers 8 pages of color pictures. Maps and charts appear in appropriate places. The 15 appendixes include a political chronology, several primary source documents (most are texts of laws), and a list of presidents from 1868 to the present. An extensive index and bibliography can be found in volume 2. At the front of each volume is an alphabetical list of entries with their page numbers. The topical arrangement lends itself to a few problems with access, although the index and other finding tools minimize those difficulties. Because the entries are not in strict alphabetical order, the reader has to use the index or the list of entries to find the cross-referenced articles. The articles themselves are fascinating, written to be accessible to a wide range of readers. This excellent introduction to a colorful and important nation is recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist

Library Journal Review

This encyclopedic work takes on the impossible: it sets out to describe the history and people of an island whose mere mention can cause two otherwise rational individuals to begin a heated argument. Fortunately, the editors tackle the issue head on. In over 700 entries, divided among 12 topical chapters, Mart!nez-Fern ndez (chair, Puerto Rican & Hispanic Caribbean studies, Rutgers Univ.), D.H. Figueredo (director, Library & Media Ctr., Bloomfield Coll.), Louis P?rez Jr. (J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), and literary agent Luis Gonz lez cover such diverse topics as national symbols, geography, history, economy, literature, the arts, culture, sports, and the Cuban diaspora. For the most part, they keep a neutral tone regarding hot-button issues, e.g., the revolution is neither good nor bad but simply the status quo, and the Miami Cubans are neither patriotic Cubans-in-exile nor antirevolutionary zealots but simply Cubans on another shore. The entries are well written and while clearly academic are free of jargon. Useful additions include a chronology, photographs, maps, tables, graphs, and over 200 illustrations, many in color. The one drawback is the nontraditional format, i.e., the entries are arranged alphabetically within each chapter, which makes the work good for topical browsing but difficult to use for ready-reference. Recommended for public, school, and academic libraries.-Lee Arnold, Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Cuba elicits passionate responses because of its politics, its proximity to the U.S., and its vibrant culture. This set presents a balanced view of the country, including the culture of the Cuban Diaspora. The introduction (the same in both volumes) acknowledges validity of the polarized views toward this tiny communist island. Twelve chapters with alphabetical listings cover such topics as national symbols, history, contemporary society, literature, and more. Fifteen appendixes include primary sources such as the Platt Amendment and excerpts from the Helms-Burton Act. While there is definite merit to the topical divisions, navigating the set for a specific entry can be cumbersome. Some subjects, such as Jose Marti, have more than one entry. The table of contents is identical in each book and particularly confusing since it does not clearly indicate which volume accommodates what topics. However, an alphabetical "List of Entries" that notes page numbers and an exhaustive index are included. Eight pages of color plates and black-and-white photos embellish the set. The editors present Cuba as a complex nation with difficult problems and enigmatic solutions. This up-to-date, comprehensive encyclopedia will be most useful where there is regional interest.-Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Covering all aspects of Cuban history and culture from the pre-Columbian era to the present, this comprehensive encyclopedia offers approximately 700 entries in 12 topical chapters (e.g., performing arts, sports, and three chapters devoted to history). Entries in each chapter are arranged alphabetically, with cross-references in boldface. Length of entries ranges from five sentences to two and one-half pages (for the Fidel Castro entry), averaging about half a page. All entries are signed, and nearly all include lists of further readings. A limited number of photographs and illustrations in color are included (e.g., map, flag, capitol building, works of art). The 15 appendixes provide supplemental material (political chronology, list of presidents, The Slave Code of 1842). The work concludes with a four-page bibliography of English-language works and a comprehensive index. Compared with Jaime Suchlicki's Historical Dictionary of Cuba (CH, Feb'02), this work focuses more closely on Cuba's culture with generally lengthier entries but includes a much less extensive bibliography. Both titles are recommended for academic libraries. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Larger public and academic libraries. S. Jent University of Louisville

Table of Contents

National Symbols Geography, the Environment, and Urbanization
History: The Colonial Period (Pre-Columbian Era to 1901)
History: The Republican Period (1902-1958)
History and Government: The Revolutionary Period (1959- )
Contemporary Economy and Society Literature and the Social Sciences
Performing Arts Plastic Arts Popular Culture and Religion Sports Cuban Diaspora