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Open Access An Island Called Cuba

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An Island Called Cuba

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image of New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

Review of:An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba. Ruth Behar, photographs by Humberto Mayol. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2007. xiii + 297 pp. (Cloth US$ 29.95)Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography. Fidel Castro & Ignacio Ramonet. New York: Scribner/Simon & Schuster, 2008. vii + 724 pp. (Paper US$ 22.00, e-book US$ 14.99)Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know. Julia E. Sweig. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. xiv + 279 pp. (Paper US$ 16.95)[First paragraph]These three ostensibly very different books tell a compelling story of each author’s approach, as much as the subject matter itself. Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography is based on a series of long interviews granted by the then-president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, to Spanish-Franco journalist Ignacio Ramonet. Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, by U.S. political analyst Julia Sweig, is one of a set country series, and, like Ramonet’s, presented in question/answer format. An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba, with a narrative by Cuban-American anthropologist Ruth Behar and photographs by Cuban photographer Humberto Mayol, is a retrospective/introspective account of the Jewish presence in Cuba. While from Ramonet and Sweig we learn much about the revolutionary project, Behar and Mayol convey the lived experience of the small Jewish community against that backdrop.

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