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Upon publication in the late 1970s this book was the first major historical analysis of twentieth-century Cuba. Focusing on the way Cuba has been governed, and in particular on the way a changing elite has made claims to legitimate rule, it carefully examines each of Cuba s three main political eras: the first, from Independence in 1902 to the Presidency of Gerardo Machado in 1933; the second, under Batista, from 1934 until 1958; and finally, Castro s revolution, from 1959 to the present.Jorge Dominguez discusses the political roles played by interest groups, mass organizations, and the military. He also investigates the impact of international affairs on Cuba and provides the first printed data on many aspects of political, economic, and social change since 1959. He deals in depth with agrarian politics and peasant protest since 1937, and his concluding chapter on Cuba s present culture is a fascinating insight into a society which though vitally important remains mysterious to most readers in the United States.Cuba s role in international affairs is vastly greater than its size. The revolution led by Fidel Castro, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the missile crisis in 1962, the underwriting of revolution in Latin America and recently in Africa all these events have thrust Cuba onto the modern world stage. Anyone hoping to understand this country and its people, and above all its changing systems of government, will find this book essential."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674179257
ISBN-10: 0674179250
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 43mm)
Pages: 704
Imprint: The Belknap Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jul-1978
Country of Publication: United States


US Kirkus Review » Situated a mere 90 miles from Florida, Cuba has occupied an important place in American political and economic life from the Spanish-American War to the stand-off with Castro. This continuing involvement with Cuban affairs now has non-belligerent issue in an important new look at Cuba's political structure by Harvard's Jorge Dominguez. Although less than half the 1600 pages of Hugh Thomas' monumental Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom, Dominguez' book is nonetheless enormous and ambitious in its scope. Eschewing the narrative form of Thomas' work, he analyzes each of the three major periods in Cuba's post-independence political life - 1902-33, 1933-58, and the socialist years. During the first period, he argues, American economic ownership and direct control over political affairs resulted in a "pluralization" of the polity, with a weak government and competing interests all seeking U.S. intervention. In the second period, when direct American imperialism gave way to indirect hegemony, continued pluralization resulted from American support for economic interest groups. Most of Dominguez' attention is focused on the last, and current period, which he sees as marked by the growth and centralization of the government, the influence of Soviet hegemony, and the new terms of political legitimization and conflict. But, he avers, these changes were built on pre-existing bases. Separate chapters cover political culture, the Communist Party, agriculture, social mobilization, etc., illuminating each aspect through the historical context of the whole study. A solid, scholarly work, and imperative for anyone who seriously wants to understand Cuba. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jorge I. Dominguez

Jorge I. Dominguez is Antonio Medero Professor of Mexican and Latin American Politics and Economics, Harvard University.

Books By Author Jorge I. Dominguez

Debating U.S.-Cuban Relations by Jorge I. Dominguez

Debating U.S.-Cuban Relations

Hardback, January 2017