Most conventional readings of the Cuban Revolution have seemed mesmerised by the personality and role of Fidel Castro, often missing a deeper political understanding of the Revolution’s underlying structures, bases of popular loyalty and ethos of participation. In this ground-breaking work, Antoni Kapcia focuses instead on a wider cast of characters. Along with the more obvious, albeit often misunderstood, contributions from Che Guevara and Raúl Castro, Kapcia looks at the many others who, over the decades, have been involved in decision-making and have often made a significant difference. He interprets their various roles within a wider process of nation-building, demonstrating that Cuba has undergone an unusual, if not unique, process of change. Essential reading for anyone interested in Cuba's history and its future.
World excluding Canada, all languages excluding Catalan, Dutch, Greek, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish
A history of the forgotten leaders of the Cuban Revolution.
This highly original study of Cuba turns on its head traditional views of the Cuban Revolution as being totally dominated by one man, Fidel Castro. Instead it argues, and convincingly, that the revolutionary process was the work of many. Balanced and insightful, this highly readable analysis is obligatory reading for all who seek to understand why revolutionary Cuba has lasted for so long, and where it is going after Raúl Castro leaves. This will undoubtedly prove one of the most enduring analyses of the Cuban Revolution.'
John Kirk, professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, Dalhousie University
'Antoni Kapcia's book is a magnificent account of the creation of Cuba's revolutionary government over a period of more than half a century. Going far beyond the central figures of Fidel, Raul and Che Guevara, Kapcia's encyclopaedic knowledge of less familiar figures brings into sharp focus their importance and significance. Looking in depth at the membership of the internal core of the Revolution, he has produced an indispensable work that will be welcomed by all students of the Cuban story.'
Richard Gott, author of Cuba: A New History
'Tony Kapcia has produced a formidable challenge to conventional "cubanology". Characteristically original and open-minded, Kapcia's novel application of corporatist theory dismisses Fidel-centred and "totalitarian" accounts, presenting instead a dynamic typology of a radicalised but ideologically diverse leadership struggling to sustain a popular nation-state-building process through repeated crises. No serious student of contemporary Cuba can afford to ignore Kapcia's interpretation.'
Dr Steve Ludlam, The University of Sheffield
'Kapcia has provided a splendid study, rich with insight and intellect. Its arguments are persuasive, and its scope and purpose are informed by what can best be described as a mature erudition on the subject of Cuba, a distillation of years of research and reflection on the complexities of the people, politics and policies of the Cuban Revolution. This superb study will assume its rightful place among the more important contributions to our knowledge of the Cuban reality, past and present.'
Professor Louis A. Pérez, Jr., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
'Antoni Kapcia skilfully draws on virtually all current research on the Cuban leadership, placing the role of leaders, decision-making processes, and debates between political actors and the base within their historical context. The result is an original, balanced and must-needed book which will be of value to all social sciences in analysing Cuba as it enters the "post-Castro" era.'
Arnold August, author of Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion
Antoni Kapcia is professor of Latin American history at the University of Nottingham, where he also directs the Centre for Research on Cuba. Since 1975, he has published extensively on aspects of modern and contemporary Cuban history, focusing especially on political and cultural history and on the questions of ideology and national identity. His books include Cuba: Island of Dreams (2000), Havana: The Making of Cuban Culture (2005), Cuba in Revolution (2008) and (in conjunction with Par Kumaraswami) Literary Culture in Cuba: Revolution, Nation-Building and the Book (2012).