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The Structure of Cuban History

Meanings and Purpose of the Past

Louis A. Pérez Jr.

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-9

Contents, Illustrations

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pp. ix-xi

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pp. xiii-xv

Debts of gratitude—personal and professional—have accumulated over the many years this book has been in preparation: first and foremost with the staffs of libraries and archives— the librarians, the bibliographers, the archivists, the curators—without whose assistance the completion of this...

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pp. 1-20

This book is less a history of Cuba than about the history of Cuba, its course and its contours—and its consequences: about the capacity of the past to shape the character of a people, about the very logic with which historical knowledge insinuated itself into the popular...

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1. All This We Prefer

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pp. 21-30

The war ended in the summer of 1898. Only then was it possible to begin to take in the magnitude of the devastation wrought by Cuban determination to achieve independence: the culmination of nearly fifty years of protracted warfare and intermittent insurrection, marked by recurring cycles of destruction and disruption, decades of...

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2. Intimations of Nationality

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pp. 31-62

It is not clear precisely when or exactly how the possibility of a separate nationality insinuated itself into domains of popular awareness. Until late in the eighteenth century, vernacular convention favored the use of criollo as the designation of choice to describe native-born residents of the island, as distinct from peninsular, used to denote Spanish-born inhabitants....

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3. Transformation in Times of Transition

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pp. 63-114

The nineteenth century was a time of deepening discontent, mostly as an incremental condition, to be sure, but an inexorable one. Vast numbers of Cubans experienced daily life in a state of disquiet, borne principally as a circumstance to which men and women across the island accommodated themselves as a matter of course, conditions...

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4. Nation in Waiting

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pp. 115-169

The republic was inaugurated on May 20, 1902, an occasion celebrated on a grand scale: a national holiday, in fact, given over to acts of public ceremony and popular revelry. “The greatest day in the history of Cuba,” La Lucha pronounced.1 Cubans across the island surrendered themselves joyfully to public displays of euphoria and elation. Years...

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5. Anticipation of the Past

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pp. 171-233

The past was a presence everywhere: learned at home and taught in the classroom; eulogized in poetry and celebrated in song; dramatized in film and narrated in fiction; memorialized in the form of monuments and statuary, commemorated on national holidays, and observed on patriotic anniversaries....

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6. History with a Purpose

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pp. 235-284

That the revolution addressed the historical sources of Cuban discontent, and indeed offered a plausible remedy to long-standing grievances, mattered as an achievement in its own right, of course. But it mattered more as a demonstration of what was possible in a Cuba for Cubans, a vindication of sorts, a source of empowerment: confirmation...


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pp. 285-325


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pp. 327-336

E-ISBN-13: 9781469612652
Print-ISBN-13: 9781469606927

Publication Year: 2013