Analyzing the crucial period of the Cuban Revolution from 1959 to 1961, Samuel Farber challenges dominant scholarly and popular views of the revolution's sources, shape, and historical trajectory. Unlike many observers, who treat Cuba's revolutionary leaders as having merely reacted to U.S. policies or domestic socioeconomic conditions, Farber shows that revolutionary leaders, while acting under serious constraints, were nevertheless autonomous agents pursuing their own independent ideological visions, although not necessarily according to a master plan.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. Taking advantage of recently declassified U.S. and Soviet documents as well as biographical and narrative literature from Cuba, Farber focuses on three key years to explain how the Cuban rebellion rapidly evolved from a multiclass, antidictatorial movement into a full-fledged social revolution.
About the Author
Samuel Farber is professor of political science at Brooklyn College and author of three previous books, including Revolution and Reaction in Cuba, 1933-1960: A Political Sociology from Machado to Castro.
What People are Saying About This
Farber . . . is to be commended for expressing his arguments clearly and for raising questions for future research. This is one of the many merits of this book. . . . Students of Cuba, Latin America, the Cold War, and inter-American relations will benefit greatly from it.American Historical Review
In writing Origins, Samuel Farber has not only set the record straight, but also he has made a contribution to 'those trying to create a new revolutionary and democratic Left in Cuba.'International Socialist Review
One of the most useful works on the Cuban Revolution. . . . [A] succinct, clearly written, straightforward account.Against the Current
Delivers a finely balanced judgement . . . and many useful insights. . . . This is a welcome and fine piece of scholarship which brings a few new insights to the academic debates on Cuba.Journal of Latin American Studies
Based on extensive reading of the literature, this succinctly insightful study makes a tremendous contribution to understanding both the Cuban Revolution and the continuing inability of the US to understand and accept it. . . . The argument is accessible, balanced, highly informed, and impressively perceptive.Choice
Farber has produced a fine synthesis, one that identifies key questions and offers fresh and compelling interpretations.The Journal of American History
This succinctly insightful study makes a tremendous contribution to understanding both the Cuban Revolution and the continuing inability of the US to understand and accept it. . . . Highly Recommended.Choice
Offers a different perspective on the Cuban Revolution. . . . [and] an analytic approach that will attract Latin Americanists, especially those interested specifically in Cuba, and is suitable for classroom use.Colonial Latin American Historical Review
Farber's analysis is complex and multilayered. . . . Farber has produced a fine synthesis, one that identifies key questions and offers fresh and compelling interpretations.Journal of American History
One of the most useful works on the Cuban Revolution has appeared with Samuel Farber's The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Reconsidered. Its succinct, clearly-written, straightforward account draws widely on [a] range of primary and secondary sources, and also on the author's personal experience as someone who grew up in pre-revolutionary Cuba and who retains a connection with revolutionary socialist perspectives.Against the Current