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Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know (Anglais) Broché – 26 avril 2013

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Ever since Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba in 1959, Americans have obsessed about the nation ninety miles south of the Florida Keys. America's fixation on the tropical socialist republic has only grown over the years, fueled in part by successive waves of Cuban immigration and Castro's larger-than-life persona. Cubans are now a major ethnic group in Florida, and the exile community is so powerful that every American president has curried favor with it. But what do most Americans really know about Cuba itself? In this second edition of the widely hailed Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, Julia Sweig updates her concise and remarkably accessible portrait of the small island nation--and now includes material from her 2010 interview with Fidel Castro. The new edition covers the key events of the last few years: Raul Castro's assumption of power from his brother Fidel, economic and political reforms since Raul came to power, and the changes in US-Cuba relations following the election of Barack Obama. Expansive in coverage and authoritative in scope, the book looks back over Cuba's history since the Spanish American War before shifting to recent times. Focusing equally on Cuba's role in world affairs and its own social and political transformations, Sweig divides the book chronologically into the pre-Fidel era, the period between the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era, and--finally--the post-Fidel era. Informative, pithy, and lucidly written, it is the best compact reference on Cuba's internal politics, its often fraught relationship with the United States, and its shifting relationship with the global community. On the first edition: "Excellent and even-handed.... It packs a phenomenal amount of complex history into clear and simple prose." --Los Angeles Times "Splendid.... Sweig displays a talent for succinctness and clarity, as well as a subtle, deep knowledge of Cuban affairs." --Foreign Affairs

Biographie de l'auteur

Julia E. Sweig is the Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of Inside the Cuban Revolution (winner of the AHA Herbert Feis award for the best book of the year by an independent scholar) and Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century. She lives with her family outside of Washington, DC.

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Amazon.com: 36 commentaires
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating Landscape of Yet Another Failure Of U.S. Foreign Policy only 90 miles away. 19 mars 2014
Par Mark Bender - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Ms. Sweig's analytical, historical, and balanced, wide view diorama of Cuba's political and economic history gives the reader the foundation to see how the Castro brothers were able to craft and forge Cuba's own destiny. This, despite the reactionary, jingoistic and short sighted destructive efforts of the giant to the north.

Ms. Sweig further revels how U.S. internal, domestic politics have served to sustain this blind and destructive perspective from the very beginning of the revolution up to this very day.

Even the forward thinking Obama regime, who internally sees the solid, concrete wisdom of abandoning this failed and inappropriate U.S. foreign policy (the embargo), can not afford to cash in the domestic political costs such an action would incur for their party. The pressure point of this dreaded political backlash is concentrated primarily in the Cuban exile community in the state of Florida and held as well by the rest of the ultra conservative perspective, who still think our nation is somehow entrusted with an undeniable privilege to put its own version of a government in place no matter how inappropriate.

This is an excellent primer for student's of inter american issues. Unlike a traditional history book, Ms. Sweig's work uses Chapter Headings that are Questions about a certain aspect of politics and or the actors (characters) involved. It makes it a little difficult to follow chronologically until the reader realizes that is not the point of the book, but rather to reveal the dynamic and NON linear process of Cuba's modern history and political evolution.

It is a fascinating study of how sophisticated governments failed to understand the young and mercurial and as many have described as a "like a teenager with tantrums"-Fidel Castro, during the first eras of the regime. Then later over time Fidel and his brother Raul, can be seen to also gradually mature into wiser leaders and actors on the world stage. Time will tell if our own country will finally have the rest of the world's perspective of creating a working relationship with Cuba instead of a dysfunctional one that has no positive end.

Perhaps the book is also for the first time U.S. traveler to Cuba, who wants their travel experience to be more of a learning process about a different culture and people than merely a comparison to how things are stateside. I personally hope the U.S. traveler to Cuba will read this work and realize their important role during their visit is key to our two peoples, Cuba and the U.S., reaching true understanding, mutual respect and appreciation despite the misunderstood machinations of both our countries' politicians.

Thank you Ms. Sweig for a most valuable work.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good Reference About Cuba 5 janvier 2015
Par one guy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I found this book to be very helpful and even-handed. I was part of a group that went to Cuba in November 2014, just a month before the announcement of the plan to normalize relations between the US and Cuba. I was very interested to learn about Cuban history, politics, and social life. This book seemed quite accurate, consistent with the information we got from our tour guides, who seemed very candid. It is also quite consistent with information on Wikipedia, though this book provides a lot more information.

The book is sympathetic to and critical of both the US and Cuba in various places. It was fascinating to learn more accurate information about Fidel, Che, and the revolution than what the American media generally portray. In particular, Fidel was not very good as a military commander and planner but was very good in consolidating power as the revolution progressed. I was also interested to read about Che's arrogance in trying to promote revolution in other countries without cooperating with other revolutionary movements. On the other hand, the book candidly describes American imperial interventions and manipulation -- as well as successes in Cuban society since the revolution. Probably most Americans don't recognize the major impact of the downfall of the Soviet Union on Cuba, which the book helpfully describes.

The FAQ format seems a bit odd for a history reference book, but I actually found it useful as I wanted to look up various issues.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
In January 2014, I visited Cuba through a Road ... 19 juillet 2014
Par Ursula Hahn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In January 2014, I visited Cuba through a Road Scholar people-to-people program for two weeks, beginning in Santiago de Cuba and ending in Havana. I had no time to prepare myself, knew nothing but the most superficial facts about Cuba before the trip, and purchased this book after my return. It is NOT a travelogue (as the title might suggest). This edition is updated to 2010 and even refers to the recently enacted relaxation in commercial activities. The strength of this book lies in Sweig's structuring her vast material into topic-oriented chapters by posing specific questions the reader may have and providing detailed answers, with references to other chapters. This doesn't require reading about Cuba's entire history all at once to gain an understanding of causes and effects.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Recommend a good editor 7 août 2014
Par Carol Caswell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The author clearly knows the subject and if you can slog through her writing you'll come away with an understanding and admiration of the Cuban struggle for self-reliance. Unfortunately, her writing in the earlier sections is dense and academically. She uses long sentences convoluted by opinionated commentary and side trips to unrelated facts and ideas. Reading them is a laborious exercise.

For the first 100 or so pages, I found it particularly distracting that the word "hegemony" appears somewhere on every other page. The last 80 or so pages are more clearly written and succinct. I'd recommend a good editor for the next edition.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good intro to Cuba today 20 février 2014
Par Mark Farmer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This was an informative overview of Cuba's recent history. It is organized as a series of questions, followed by answers so it is almost like a Google collection. The information is clear and seems quite balanced in its approach.
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