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18 Dec 2006
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£35.99
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9781403971074
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30 Apr 2008
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£21.99
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9780230603974
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This is the first comprehensive history of the culturally diverse city, and the first to be co-authored by a Cuban and an American. Beginning with the founding of Havana in 1519, Cluster and Hernández explore the making of the city and its people through revolutions, art, economic development and the interplay of diverse societies.


Description

This is the first comprehensive history of the culturally diverse city, and the first to be co-authored by a Cuban and an American. Beginning with the founding of Havana in 1519, Cluster and Hernández explore the making of the city and its people through revolutions, art, economic development and the interplay of diverse societies.


Reviews

'Serious but easily readable. History of Havana employs conventional documentary, written and visual sources and a variety of testimonials from throughout the world to bring to life the complex portraits and challenges of contemporary Havana - a historical crossroad of the New World, a stage of scenic architecture, rhythmic sound-scapes, remarkable artistic genius, foreign invasions, struggles for personal and national freedom and independence - today a vibrant, complex world-renowned city, in a new global moment, creating its future in the throes of the fall of the Soviet Union, the lure and hooks of tourism, natural disasters, and the challenges of Empire.' - Harry Belafonte, singer, actor, UNICEF goodwill ambassador.

'What a wonderful read! Dick Cluster and Rafael Hernandez' stories read like late night conversations on a dark, humid Havana terrace: marvelous, sly and frequently incredible. And that's the real kick, because they're meticulously researched, smoothly well-chosen and arranged. This is a history that feels more like literature: palpable, personal, full of secrets revealed and the occasional, and necessary, melancholia.' - Achy Obejas, novelist, author of Days of Awe

'Gorgeous, feisty, savvy, cosmopolitan, sexy, defiant and yes, at times decadent and decaying, yet always resilient and ribald, battered repeatedly but never beaten - the city of Havana, where everyone deserves to have been born, is the star of this loving, gritty history. The authors lead the reader from Columbus' stumbling into Cuba in his quest for the Orient in the fifteenth century to our own decade. They tell the story of Havana's people, their physical space, their welcoming and unwelcome encounters with foreigners, and their capacity for re-invention. It's a great read.' - Jorge I. Domínguez, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University

'This riveting and highly readable historical document is bittersweet. 'Bitter' in that throughout the history of Havana, weather, wars, and economic strangulation have forced this great city to periodically deteriorate. 'Sweet' in the seemingly infinite optimism and sense of humor of its citizens and even sweeter because the city will rise again and reclaim its proper place amongst the great urban centers of the world.' - James Stewart Polshek, Architect

'History of Havana by Rafael Hernández and Dick Cluster invites general readers to enter and experience modern-day Havana as the product of its past. They will find a city whose citizens developed and changed in moments of revelry and times of crisis, responding to local history and world history, and making history as well. This diverse population negotiated when possible, fought when required, and sought to imagine and sustain revolutionary visions and life-ways of new men and women.' - Danny Glover, actor and activist
'The History of Havana is a busy, inviting book about a resilient city wracked by all kinds of strife since its founding in 1519.' - The Chicago Sun-Times


Contents

Introduction: Un tipo muy popular
Key to the Indies
The Hour of the Mameys
Paris of the Antilles
Cecilia, Cabildos, and Contradance
Stirrings of Nationhood
Revolutions and Retributions: From the Teatro Villanueva to the Maine
Many Happy Returns?: U.S. Occupation and Its Aftermath
Symbol of an Era: Alberto Yarini y Ponce de León
Catch a Ford on the Malecón: Republican Havana's Growth and Decay
The Battle of Havana, 1933-35
Radio Days
City Lights: The Fabulous Fifties
Havana in Revolution
Revolution with Pachanga: Havana Transfigured
Russian Meat, Miami Butterflies, and Other Unexpected Adventures
The Blackout: Havana in the 'Special Period' and Beyond


Authors

DICK CLUSTERis the author of the novels Return to Sender, Repulse Monkey, and Obligations of the Bone. He is a translator of Cuban literature and teaches courses on Cuban history, culture, and politics at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, USA, as well as interdisciplinary courses in other fields. Previous nonfiction books include They Should Have That Cup of Coffee, about U.S. radical movements of the '60s and '70s, and Shrinking Dollars, Vanishing Jobs, about the U.S. economy.

RAFAEL HERNANDEZ is the editor of Temas, a Cuban quarterly in the field of history, culture, economics, and politics. He graduated from the University of Havana with a degree in French literature, and from the Colegio de Mexico in Political Science, since the 1970s he has researched and written about Cuban culture, society, history, and politics, Cuba-U.S. relations, and images of Cuba in the U.S. He has oriented, guided, and taught many American visitors to Cuba and been visiting professor and researcher at Columbia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Tulane, and the University of Puerto Rico, and lectured at numerous other schools and academic conferences. His essay collection Looking at Cuba won the Cuban Critics Award in 2000.