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  • Anthony DePalma

A Bracing Insight into Human Perseverance



The American Library Association's Booklist has reviewed The Cubans. Here it is:


Many Americans have lived so long with the Cuban revolution and its aftermath that their impression of the Cuban people forms little but a political stereotype, quite divorced from the island nation’s present-day realities. Journalist DePalma (City of Dust, 2010) sets the record straight. He has interviewed dozens of Cubans, here focusing on just a few to give a portrait of life in the years since Fidel Castro’s little band brought down the toppling Batista regime. For contemporary Cubans, everyday life is a struggle, with shortages of adequate food and needed medicines. Too often, their world has shrunk to the simple survival of their own families and neighborhoods. All this privation has made them particularly hardy and resilient, cobbling solutions to every problem, resorting to baling wire to hold their cars together, and even frying plantain skins when there’s no other food. The revolution may have bestowed good educations, but job opportunities are scarce. As DePalma sees it, Cubans survive a maximum of prohibitions with a minimum of inhibitions. A bracing insight into human perseverance. — Mark Knoblauch

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