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Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know [Anglais] [Broché]

Julia E. Sweig

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26 avril 2013 What Everyone Needs To Know
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

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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: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  14 commentaires
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Almost a blog-style book 7 octobre 2013
Par oiythealien - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book was set up in chapters that are subdivided by questions. For example: "What was the Special Period in Cuba?" and then there are a few pages offering an explanation of the topic. It kind of felt like I was reading a series of blog posts; granted, they were exceptionally well researched and very clear. Sweig's introduction is very interesting and presented great background on who she is and her recent interview with Castro.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 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.
6 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Difficult for a non-extremist to read 3 février 2014
Par BDMJ - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Sweig is fond of pitting the US versus Cuba, and takes a pro-Cuba position at every turn of the page.

For example, both the author and Fidel refer to "the Revolution" not as a historical but as an ongoing event.

For example, Cuba supplied "heroic" Sandinistas in Nicaragua while the US supplied murderous henchmen.

She even comes out at the beginning of the book, going through great lengths to brag about a recent lunch date that she had with el Comandante.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 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.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Densely packed but very readable 15 mars 2014
Par Matthew Brady - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Packed full information in a logical useful flow. Enough meat around the facts to connect with the information provided. Lots of "aha" moments for those who were born after 1959.
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