We’ve curated a selection of our books on the history and culture of Cuba, from early colonial years to the 1959 Revolution to daily life today, for those wanting to learn more about the island nation.


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Cuba’s Digital Revolution: Citizen Innovation and State Policy
Edited by Ted A. Henken and Sara Garcia Santamaria

“An important contribution to the study of the Cuban media landscape. Cuba’s Digital Revolution examines changes brought about by recent expansion of Wi-Fi access points through attention to how independent journalism, media distribution, activism, entrepreneurship, and media culture are developing alongside local and global technological and political changes.”—Cristina Venegas, author of Digital Dilemmas: The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba


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Portraits of Cuba
Daniel Duncan, Marcela Vásquez-León, and Dereka Rushbrook

“This vibrant work explores everyday life in contemporary Cuba. . . . The accessibly written entries are packed with information. . . . Those interested in Cuban culture, as well as armchair travelers, will find plenty to appreciate.”—Publishers Weekly

“Duncan’s photos take over the pages, and alongside the colorful visuals is an equally colorful narrative.”—Miami New Times


Mark Frank
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“A remarkably rich, gritty account of daily life today in the twilight of Caribbean socialism.”—Foreign Affairs

“A must-read for Cuba watchers and readers wanting to understand the island. Essential for a sharper grasp of Cuban-American relations and the role American politics plays in the sovereignty of this independent state.”—Library Journal


Luis Martínez-Fernández
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“A passionate and robust book. . . . provides a strong narrative and, as the reconciliation and economic integration of Cuba and the Cuban diaspora accelerates following the post-December 2014 normalization of US-Cuban relations, an increasingly significant perspective.”—Social History

“Powerful and emotional . . . captures the stakes faced by the individual heroes of this book.”—H-Net Reviews


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Victor Andres Triay

“In this informative and moving work, historian Triay (Fleeing Castro) expertly explores one of the most infamous refugee crises in U.S. history. . . . This compassionate and accessible study is especially relevant given current debates surrounding immigration.”—Publishers Weekly


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José Manuel García

“Powerful and gripping reading. It captures vividly the denigrating, dangerous, and harrowing experiences that a human being will endure in the pursuit of freedom. This book is the story of the Mariel exodus, but it is so much more. Its first-person narratives illustrate the depths of human despair with some riveting descriptions.”—Yvonne M. Conde, author of Operation Pedro Pan: The Untold Exodus of 14,048 Cuban Children


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Deborah Shnookal

“A compelling, wide-ranging, and in-depth study. Shnookal successfully mines a wealth of material on the Operation to develop a highly original and meticulously documented account. Shnookal carefully dissects the different perspectives and arguments raised by participants, observers, and scholars, and engages in rich and fruitful dialogue with all.”—Aviva Chomsky, author of A History of the Cuban Revolution


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Victor Andres Triay

“The ordeal began [for the children] when their parents told them they had to travel alone and that they had to keep the upcoming trip a secret. The most powerful parts of the book are their accounts. . . . Through interviews with many of the participants—the children and their parents, the coordinators of the airlift, those in the underground in Cuba and the Catholic sponsors in the United States—Triay attempts to answer many of the questions the exodus raised.”—Miami Herald


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Victor Andres Triay

“Makes a valuable contribution by righting a wrong from the perspective of the men and women whose lives the invasion forever changed. . . . Triay’s book . . . captures the views and experiences of an entire generation.”Miami Herald

“Triay . . . has collected interviews with invasion survivors and their families to present a first-hand account of the events that shaped the idealism and sense of betrayal at the root of Cuban-American politics.”Miami Today


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The Guerrilla Legacy of the Cuban Revolution
Anna Clayfield

“Clayfield skillfully weaves together themes of duty, struggle against overwhelming obstacles, and cubanía to illustrate the profound roots of guerrillerismo in Cuban history. Essential reading.”—John M. Kirk, author of Healthcare without Borders: Understanding Cuban Medical Internationalism


Teo A. Babun Jr. and Victor Andres Triay
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“[Jose “Chilin”] Trutie’s unblinking images of idealistic, fresh-faced soldiers, ordinary life in the rebel camps, members of Castro’s inner circle, and dozens of nameless victims of the war are a sobering reminder of history’s toll on the people of Cuba.”—Caribbean Review of Books

“For Cubans who remember that time, this book will be like reliving it. For those who do not, it offers a good introduction to a complicated period.”—Tampa Tribune


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Black Women, Citizenship, and the Making of Modern Cuba
Takkara K. Brunson

“Brunson’s examination of the struggle of minorities against racism and sexism in a republican system claiming racelessness and equality for all is illuminating—and still relevant today, in Cuba and many other societies.”—Aline Helg, author of Slave No More: Self-Liberation before Abolitionism in the Americas


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Wage-Earning Slaves: Coartación in Nineteenth-Century Cuba
Claudia Varella and Manuel Barcia

“Examining the historical and lived experiences of the enslaved, the authors convincingly document that the road to manumission by self-purchase was a lengthy journey marked by a constant state of limbo between slavery and freedom. Without comparison, this is the most thoroughly researched and detailed study of the Cuban process of coartación to date.”—Matt D. Childs, author of The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle against Atlantic Slavery


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Key to the New World: A History of Early Colonial Cuba
Luis Martínez-Fernández

“Refreshing and illustrative. . . . Curious travelers as well as scholars from historical geography and allied disciplines interested in slavery, empire, and the Europeanization of the world will find much to savor in this new recipe about historical Cuba.”—AAG Review of Books


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Indigenous Passages to Cuba, 1515–1900
Jason M. Yaremko

“This book is a revelation! . . . Documents and recounts in rich detail the large, diverse range of Native peoples who migrated from the North American mainland (Florida and the US Southwest when under Spanish rule) and especially from Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America) to the Caribbean. . . . Highly recommended.”Choice


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Handmade in Cuba: Rolando Estévez and the Beautiful Books of Ediciones Vigía
Edited by Ruth Behar, Juanamaría Cordones-Cook, and Kristin Schwain

“A masterful integration of word and image that is a feast for the senses.”—Richard Blanco, presidential inaugural poet and author of How to Love a Country


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Picturing Cuba: Art, Culture, and Identity on the Island and in the Diaspora
Edited by Jorge Duany

“An excellent, wide-ranging introduction to Cuban art, its historiography, and the politics of its production, reception, and exhibition. . . . The essays, ordered chronologically, provide a clear, generously illustrated account of the varied attempts through time to isolate and figure cubanidad in the visual arts. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice


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Staging Discomfort: Performance and Queerness in Contemporary Cuba
Bretton White

“At the intersection of aesthetics and politics, this book suggests that non-normative instances of proximity to the human body as presented in contemporary Cuban theater offer productive sources of contestation within and against a political project that has defined itself in terms of virility, austerity, and discipline.”—Guillermina De Ferrari, author of Community and Culture in Post-Soviet Cuba


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The Dissidence of Reinaldo Arenas: Queering Literature, Politics, and the Activist Curriculum
Sandro R. Barros, Rafael Ocasio, and Angela L. Willis

Available February 2022

“A welcome and needed work at a time when academia is reenvisioning its discursive fields. It breathes new life into Reinaldo Arenas’s literary corpus by treating it as a cultural object that may be appreciated by different academic disciplines.”—Carlos Riobó, author of Caught between the Lines: Captives, Frontiers, and National Identity in Argentine Literature and Art


Cubalogues_RGB.jpgThe Cubalogues: Beat Writers in Revolutionary Havana
Todd Tietchen

“Well-researched, smartly argued, and quite successful at rehabilitating an unfair popular image of the Beats as apolitical deadbeats.”—Caribbean Review of Books

“This first-rate book contributes to understanding U.S. politics (both in the Cold War and after) as well as Bohemian writing. . . . Essential.”—Choice


César Brioso

.“Conjures a colorful era of baseball that predated big-money sports.”—Foreign Affairs
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“Brioso’s excellent history details these events while also documenting the history of professional baseball in Cuba. . .This book chronicles baseball history at its best, covering an important chapter in U.S.-Cuba social history.”— Library Journal.


Byron Motley

.“Anyone who has the pleasure of perusing the arresting pages in this right-on-time photograph album will see the source of our enthusiasm. . . . View and enjoy these sensitive photos, and bon voyage.”—Booklist

“Motley’s combined photographic and narrative skills create a succinct and evocative journey that transports the reader into those sides of island life and legacy that engage him most powerfully. . . . The result is this stunning visual and heart-felt narrative of Cuba in all its major dimensions.”— INsights

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