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Louis A Perez Jr, “The Structure of Cuban History: Meanings and Purpose of the Past” (U of North Carolina Press, 2013): Cuba is changing fast. Or is it? Our understandings of Cuban history are shaped by decades of polarized interpretations. Cubans themselves have a particularly vital relationship to their past, and have long used it to guide them in times of crisis and ...

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Cuba is changing fast. Or is it? Our understandings of Cuban history are shaped by decades of polarized interpretations. Cubans themselves have a particularly vital relationship to their past, and have long used it to guide them in times of crisis and transformation. Louis A Perez‘s book The Structure of Cuban History: Meanings and Purpose of the Past (University of North Carolina Press, 2013)traces those uses of the past, from the breakdown of a colonial regime beginning in the nineteenth century to the very recent shifts in Cuba’s domestic and diplomatic politics. This beautifully written book lingers on the emotional dimensions of historical change, and leads us through those moments in Cuban history during which Cubans relied on the knowledge of their history, as transmitted through stories, memoirs, novels, and music.

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