Cover image for Cuba : a new history
Cuba : a new history
Gott, Richard, 1938-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
ix, 384 pages : illustrations, 1 map ; 25 cm
Insecure settlement : slaughter, slavery and piracy, 1511-1740 -- The Spanish empire under challenge, 1741-1868 -- Wars of independence and occupation, 1868-1902 -- The Cuban republic, 1902-1952 -- Castro's revolution takes shape, 1953-1961 -- The revolution in power, 1961-1968 -- Inside the Soviet camp, 1968-1985 -- Cuba stands alone, 1985-2003.
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F1776 .G68 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F1776 .G68 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
F1776 .G68 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F1776 .G68 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F1776 .G68 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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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 Eli#65533;n Gonz#65533;les 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.

Author Notes

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

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

For at least a generation of Cuba watchers, the history of the Caribbean island nation began with Castro's revolution in 1959. Yet Cuba has a long and storied history as a Spanish colony, a target for navies and pirates from across the globe, a people struggling for independence, and an American-controlled republic, all before Fidel. Writing from a European perspective, British journalist/historian Gott provides a fresh if not entirely new history of Cuba, without American prejudices. Using secondary sources, Gott, who has written on revolutionary movements in Latin America, tells the intriguing history of 500 years of a nation dominated by two themes-internal security and external attack. Gott contends that the future of Cuba was set not under Castro, but during the slave importations of the 16th to the 18th centuries. He asserts that Cuba was moving toward an economic revolution even before Castro's rise to power. An excellent addition to Hugh Thomas's classic Cuba and other more recent histories, this book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The well-known author of Guerrilla Movements in Latin America (CH, Nov'71) and In the Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chavez and the Transformation of Venezuela (2000) turns his experienced pen deftly to Cuba with surprisingly pleasing results. Although plagued by several minor errors, this delightfully written, nicely illustrated book makes a significant contribution to the burgeoning literature on the Cuban revolution. Eight expertly crafted chapters and a short epilogue trace the fascinating, complex history of Cuba from its settlement by the Spanish in the early 16th century to the present. The period before 1959 occupies about one half of the text and offers fewer original insights than the treatment of the Castro revolutionary period. Gott may be the only author to cite Winston Churchill on the war of 1895-8. He brings fresh insights and personal memoirs to the familiar contours of the revolution, revealing, for instance, the early relations between Raul Castro and Nikolai Leonov in 1953, and Fidel Castro's skillful symbolic use of the iconic representations of the horse--a powerful symbol in Santeria and one employed by Evaristo Estenoz in his failed race-baiting campaign of 1912. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. F. W. Knight Johns Hopkins University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. viii
Mapp. x
Prologuep. 1
Introduction: the Cuban peoplep. 5
1 Insecure settlement: slaughter, slavery and piracy, 1511-1740p. 11
Hatuey and Diego Velasquez: Indian cacique versus Spanish conquistador, 1511p. 11
What happened to Cuba's Indians?p. 21
Importing a black slave populationp. 23
The beat of Drake's drum, 1586p. 26
Sugar and tobacco: the seventeenth-century development of the island's wealthp. 36
2 The Spanish empire under challenge, 1741-1868p. 39
Guantanamo falls to Admiral Vernon, 1741p. 39
Havana falls to the Earl of Albemarle, 1762p. 41
Spain's fresh interest in Cuba, 1763-1791p. 42
The slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue, 1791p. 44
The sharp increase in the slave population, 1763-1841p. 46
The first zephyrs of independence, 1795-1824p. 48
Powerful voices advocate white immigrationp. 52
The seeds of US intervention, 1823-1851p. 57
Cuban slavery comes under British attack, 1817-1842p. 59
Black rebellion: the conspiracy of La Escalera, 1843-1844p. 64
Narciso Lopez and the threat of US annexation, 1850 and 1851p. 67
3 Wars of independence and occupation, 1868-1902p. 71
The Grito de Yara and the outbreak of the Ten Year War, 1868p. 71
General Lersundi and the Volunteers seize Havana, 1868-1869p. 74
Rebel arguments over slavery and annexationp. 77
The Pact of Zanjon, and the Protest of Baragua, 1878p. 81
Jose Marti and the fresh dreams of independencep. 84
The death of the Apostle, May 1895p. 88
Spain and Cuba again at war, 1895-1898p. 90
General Weyler's development of the concentration camp, 1896-1897p. 93
'Remember the Maine!': the US intervention in Cuba, 1898p. 97
General Wood and the US occupation of Cuba, 1898-1902p. 104
Mortgaged independence: the Platt Amendment, 1902p. 110
4 The Cuban Republic, 1902-1952p. 113
A Republic for Americans: Estrada Palma and Charles Magoon, 1902-1909p. 113
A Republic for white settlers from Spainp. 118
A Republic denied to blacks: Evaristo Estenoz and the black massacre of 1912p. 120
A Republic for gamblers: Mario Menocal and Bert Crowderp. 125
A Republic under dictatorship: Gerardo Machado, the tropical Mussolini, 1925-1933p. 129
A Republic for revolutionaries: Antonio Guiteras and the Revolution of 1933p. 135
A Republic designed for Fulgencio Batista, 1934-1952p. 142
5 Castro's Revolution takes shape, 1953-1961p. 147
Castro's attack on Moncada, 26 July 1953p. 147
The Granma landing and the revolutionary war, 1956-1958p. 154
The dawn of the Revolution: January 1959p. 165
Blacks in the Revolution, 1959p. 172
The Revolution's impact abroad, 1959-1960p. 175
The United States' reaction to the Revolution, 1959-1960p. 178
The Soviet Union's reaction to the Revolution, 1959-1960p. 181
'The First Declaration of Havana': the Revolution changes gear, 1960p. 183
The economics of the Revolution, 1959-1961p. 186
The campaign to eradicate illiteracy, 1961p. 188
6 The Revolution in power, 1961-1968p. 190
The exile invasion at the Bay of Pigs, April 1961p. 190
The missiles of October, 1962p. 195
Castro's early honeymoon with the Soviet Union, May 1963p. 209
The first exodus: Camarioca, 1965p. 211
Exporting the Revolution: Latin America, 1962-1967p. 215
Exporting the Revolution: Black Cuba's return to Africa, 1960-1966p. 219
Exporting the Revolution: mobilising black Americansp. 225
Exporting the Revolution: Che Guevara's expedition to Bolivia, 1966-1967p. 231
7 Inside the Soviet camp, 1968-1985p. 235
The Prague Spring, and the decisive turn to the Soviet Union, 1968p. 235
'Ten million tons': the failure of the sugar target of 1970p. 240
'The Brezhnev Years': restructuring the country in the Soviet image, 1972-1982p. 243
Opposition to the Soviet line, at home and abroad, 1968-1972p. 246
An opening to the mainland: Castro's visit to Allende's Chile, 1971p. 248
Cuba leaps to the defence of Angola, 1975p. 250
The nomadic road to socialism: Castro and the Ethiopian revolution, 1977p. 256
Havana, Washington and Miami in the Carter years, 1976-1979p. 261
The second exodus: the Mariel boatlift, 1980p. 266
Revolutions in Nicaragua and Grenada, 1979p. 269
8 Cuba stands alone, 1985-2003p. 273
Mikhail Gorbachev: the new broom in Moscow: 1985p. 273
Cuba's victory at Cuito Cuanavale, 1988p. 276
The execution of Arnaldo Ochoa, 1989p. 279
The 'Special Period in Peacetime', 1990p. 286
The third exodus: the riot on the Malecon, August 1994p. 298
The Torricelli and Helms-Burton Acts, 1992 and 1996p. 300
Pope John Paul's visit to Havana, 1998p. 306
The case of Elian Gonzalez, 1999p. 310
Dissent and opposition, 1991-2003p. 314
Cuba in the twenty-first centuryp. 317
Epiloguep. 321
Appendicesp. 326
Appendix A Letter from John Quincey Adams, US secretary of state, to Hugh Nelson, the American minister in Madrid, 23 April 1823p. 326
Appendix B The Platt Amendment, 1902p. 327
Appendix C Extracts from the Helms-Burton Act, 1996p. 329
Notesp. 333
Guide to further readingp. 360
Photograph creditsp. 363
Indexp. 364