The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Reconsidered

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Univ of North Carolina Press, 2007 M09 6 - 230 pages
Analyzing the crucial period of the Cuban Revolution from 1959 to 1961, Samuel Farber challenges dominant scholarly and popular views of the revolution's sources, shape, and historical trajectory. Unlike many observers, who treat Cuba's revolutionary leaders as having merely reacted to U.S. policies or domestic socioeconomic conditions, Farber shows that revolutionary leaders, while acting under serious constraints, were nevertheless autonomous agents pursuing their own independent ideological visions, although not necessarily according to a master plan.

Exploring how historical conflicts between U.S. and Cuban interests colored the reactions of both nations' leaders after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista, Farber argues that the structure of Cuba's economy and politics in the first half of the twentieth century made the island ripe for radical social and economic change, and the ascendant Soviet Union was on hand to provide early assistance. Taking advantage of recently declassified U.S. and Soviet documents as well as biographical and narrative literature from Cuba, Farber focuses on three key years to explain how the Cuban rebellion rapidly evolved from a multiclass, antidictatorial movement into a full-fledged social revolution.

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The Prerevolutionary Economy Progress or Stagnation?
Fidel Castro and the Cuban Populist Tradition
US Policy and the Cuban Revolution
The Driving Force of the Cuban Revolution From Above or From Below?
The Role of the Soviet Union and the Cuban Communists

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Page 71 - ... independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the government of Cuba. Iv. That all acts of the United States in Cuba during its military occupancy thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights acquired thereunder shall be maintained and protected.
Page 60 - My only serious failing was not having confided more in you from the first moments in the Sierra Maestra, and not having understood quickly enough your qualities as a leader and a revolutionary. "I have lived magnificent days and...
Page 147 - You Americans must understand what Cuba means to us old Bolsheviks. We have been waiting all our lives for a country to go Communist without the Red Army, and it happened in Cuba.
Page 190 - In its general sense, hegemony refers to the 'spontaneous' loyalty that any dominant social group obtains from the masses by virtue of its social and intellectual prestige and its supposedly superior function in the world of production.
Page 78 - Mr. Allen Dulles pointed out that the new Cuban officials had to be treated more or less like children. They had to be led rather than rebuffed. If they were rebuffed, like children, they were capable of doing almost anything.
Page 75 - ... affairs, if the Castro movement would be successful ? Would it mean a deterioration of our relations in Cuba? Mr. RUBOTTOM. I think that we would have a problem to deal with if the Castro movement were to take over. It has been hard to believe that the Castros alone, that the 26th of July Movement alone could take over, because they have not had enough broad support in Cuba to do this job by themselves. I think you have to face the probability, if not the likelihood, that they will be represented...
Page 175 - Unemployment in Socialist Countries: Soviet Union, East Europe, China and Cuba
Page 177 - United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Economic Survey of Latin America 1955, New York, 1956, p.
Page 8 - ... at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century was a fundamental cause of the Great War of 1914-18, a gigantic charnel made bearable only by the thought that it was "the war to end all wars.
Page 192 - Robert J. Alexander, Communism in Latin America (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1957); Karl M.

About the author (2007)

Samuel Farber is professor of political science at Brooklyn College and author of three previous books, including Revolution and Reaction in Cuba, 1933-1960: A Political Sociology from Machado to Castro.

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