Faculty Book: Samuel Farber
The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Reconsidered
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(University of North Carolina Press, 2006)
Taking advantage of recently declassified U.S. and Soviet documents as well as biographical and narrative literature from Cuba, Samuel Farber focuses on three key years, 1959 to 1961, to explain how the Cuban rebellion rapidly evolved from a multiclass, antidictatorial movement into a full-fledged social revolution. 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; and rather than treating Cuba's revolutionary leaders as having merely reacted to U.S. policies or domestic socioeconomic conditions, Farber shows that while these leaders acted under serious constraints, they were nevertheless autonomous agents pursuing their own independent ideological visions, although not necessarily according to a master plan. Samuel Farber is a professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center.
Submitted on: MAR 13, 2006