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Cuban History

History of Slavery in Cuba 1511-1868

Hubert H.S. Aimes, Ph.D. (Yale)
G.P.Putnam's Sons, 1907

History of Cuba and It's Relations With the United States: From the Annexationist to the Second War for Independence 1845-1895

Philip Foner
International Publishers

Antonio Maceo: The 'Bronze Titan' of Cuban Independence

Philip Foner

A book in English about Cuba's "Bronze Titan" is a rare thing.

A Sergeant Named Batista

Edmund A. Chester
Henry Holt and Co., NY

Written in 1954, barely two years after Batista's bloodless coup in 1952, this effort tries to make Batista palatable to American readers. In doing so, the truth is stretched beyond logic. Consider this a pro-Batista public relations romp. This is one of the few books I've been able to find on the noted dictator.

A Short Account of the Destruction of The Indies

Bartolomé De Las Casas
Penguin Classics

A record of how the Spaniards wiped out the indigenous cultures of the Indies. Required reading.

A History of Cuba
And its relations with The United States, Vol. II: 1845-1895

Philip Foner
International Publishers

Foner covers Cuban history with rare compassion and attention to Cuban sources, which makes him one of my favorite writers on Cuban history

Biography of a Runaway Slave

Miguel Barnet
Curbstone Press

Caricatura de la República

Adelaida de Juan
Ediciones Unión

In Spanish - An investigation into the role of political cartoons in Cuba during the various quests for revolution. En español.

Crime of Cuba

Charleton Beals
J.B. Lippincott Company

Cuba or the Pursuit of Freedom

Hugh Thomas

A big, fat, sturdy paperback, well written and researched.


Cuba: A Short History

Edited by Leslie Bethell
Cambridge University Press

Concise and to the point.

Cuba: Confronting the U.S. Embargo

Peter Schwab
St. Martin's Press, NY

Well thought out with lots of details.

Cuba and the United States: A Chronological History

Jane Franklin
Ocean Press

A very detailed chronology that covers every year from 1959 until 1995.

Cuba for Beginners


An over-rated cartoon book, sometimes amusing, often shallow.

Cuba, Haiti, and
the Dominican Republic

John Edwin Fagg
Prentice Hall

A dog. J.E. Fagg is downright insulting to Cuban culture as he excuses the U.S. policy of racism.

Cuba: A Country Study

Area Handbook Series

This book is issued to military and embassy personnel to be stationed in Cuba. Surprisingly, it’s not quite as “right-wing” as Suchlicki’s book, but it features a number of significant mistakes. Marti’s birthday, for instance, is erroneously given as 1835, the “maestro” was born in 1853.

Cuba: From Columbus to Castro and Beyond

Jamie Suchlicki
Charles Scribner’s Sons

This book provides a pro U.S.-John Wayne version of Cuban History… Some of the more obvious inaccuracies involve the author’s explanation of the Spanish-Cuban-American War and the Platt Amendment. And he refers to Santeria as a “cult.” Go get ‘em cowboys!

Cuba 1933: Prologue to Revolution

Luis E. Aguilar
Cornell University Press

A good book about a troubling time in Cuban history.

Cuba's Freedom Fighter, Antonio Maceo: 1845-1896

Magdalen M. Pando

The Cuban Revolution in Crisis

Frank T. Fizgerald
1994 – Monthly Review Press

The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy

Marifeli Pérez-Stable

Cuban Story, The

Herbert L. Matthews
1961 – George Braziler, Inc.

One of the better books of its kind… covering the early revolutionary years. Matthews understand Cuban history better than most American journalists.

Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar

Fernando Ortiz
Alfred A. Knopf

Recently re-issued with an updated introduction.

The Cuban Democratic Experience: The Autentico Years, 1944-1952

Charles D. Ameringer
University Press Florida

A look at Cuba's experience with Democracy.

Cuban Insurrection: 1952-1959

Ramón L. Bonachea & Marta San Martín
Transaction Publishers

A detailed study of "the first stage of the Cuban Revolution."

Cuba - The Forgotten Island - Cuba's Conquistadors

1999 Front Hill Pictures Production


Vintage Press
Edited by Cristina Garcia

A nice collection of stories and poems, including selections from José Martí, Alejo Carpentier, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Nicolás Guillén, Herberto Padilla and many others.

Cuba & International Relations

James Morton Callahan, Ph.D
The Johns Hopkins Press, 1899

Published shortly after US intervention in Cuba's war of independence, this volume is more likely to be found at your better libraries.
972.9 C13

Diary of the Cuban Revolution

Carlos Franqui

Franqui's books are difficult to find but worth the effort. I'm hoping to find the book Franqui wrote about Castro. If you know where I can find it, please send me a note.

Early History of Cuba, 1942-1586

I.A. Wright
The Macmillan Company, 1916

Family Portrait With Fidel: A Memoir

Carlos Franqui

It's about time someone started re-printing Franqui's books.

Fatal Glory: Narciso Lopez and the First Clandestine U.S. War Against Cuba

Tom Chaffin
University Press of Virginia

Four Men: Living the Revolution, An Oral History of Contemporary Cuba

Oscar Lewis, Ruth M. Lewis, Susan M. Rigdon
University of Illinois Press

Four Women-Living the Revolution: An Oral History of Contemporary Cuba

Oscar Lewis, Ruth M. Lewis, Susan M. Rigdon
University of Illinois Press

Havana: History and architecture of a Romantic City

María Luisa Lobo Montalvo
The Monacelli Press

A big, beautiful book full of wonderful stories and images. The history of this great city is well served by this deluxe edition.

The History of Cuba

Clifford L. Staten
Greenwood Press

Inside the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground

Julia E. Sweig
Harvard University Press


Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898

Ada Ferrer
University of North Carolina Press

Island Under Siege

Pedro Prada
Ocean Press

Leftist look at the history of the embargo.


Jose Marti Diarios

Prologue by Guillermo Cabrera Infante
Círculo de Lectores

In Spanish, but hopefully a translated version will be available soon.

Jose Marti: Major Poems

Edited by Philip S. Foner
Holmes & Meier


Jose Marti Reader: Writings on the Americas

Ocean Press


Liberty: The Story of Cuba

Horatio S. Rubens
AMS Press, New York

Life and Poems of a Cuban Slave: Juan Francisco Manzano, 1797-1854

Edited by Edward J. Mullen
Archon Books, 1981

Magoon in Cuba; a history of the second intervention, 1906-1909

David A. Lockmiller
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press

An account of a difficult period that goes almost completely forgotten in most accounts of Cuban history. This one was published in 1938, and tends to ignore or gloss over the Cuban point of view. A better assessment of this period can be found in Luis E. Aguilar's "Cuba 1933: Prologue to Revolution."

Marching With Gomez: A War Correspondent's Field Note-Book Kept During Four Months With the Cuban Army

Grover Flint, with an Historical Introduction by John Fiske
Lamson, Wolffe and Co., 1898

You'll probably have to go to the library for this one, but it will be worth the effort.

On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture

Louis A. Pérez
Chapel Hill


Jose Marti's "Our America: From National to Hemispheric Cultural Studies (New Americanists)

José Martí

The Politics of Intervention: The Military Occupation of Cuba, 1906-1909

Allan Reed Millett
Ohio State University Press

Operation Pedro Pan: The Untold Exodus of 14,048 Cuban Children

Yvonne M. Conde

Described as "one of the darkest chapters in Cuban history," this book tells the story of children who were sent to the U.S. by their parents in the early sixties.

Revolution in Cuba: An Essay in Understanding

Herbert L. Matthews

Anyone that wants to understand the revolution can’t go wrong with this one. Matthews goes way beyond finger pointing and character assassination to shed light on a part of history largely misunderstood in North America.

Revolutionary Cuba

Terence Cannon
Thomas Y. Crowell, NY

I tend to prefer books written by journalists (as opposed to traditional historians) and this is a good one.

Roosevelt and Batista

Irwin F. Gellman
New Mexico Press

This one covers the relationship between the U.S. government and their Cuban dictator of choice.

The Second Revolution in Cuba

J.P. Morray
MR Press

Slaves, Sugar, & Colonial Society: Travel Accounts of Cuba, 1801-1899

Edited by Louis A. Pérez, Jr.
SR Books

The Spanish-Cuban-American war, Vol. 1 & 2

Philip S. Foner
Monthly Review Press

This two-volume set (also available as a single unit) is one of the most honest books you're likely to find on this topic. Hard to find but worth the effort.

The Twelve

Carlos Franqui
1968 – Lyle Stuart, Inc.

And then there were twelve… referring to the survivors of the "Granma" expedition in 1956 that launched revolutionary war against Fulgencio Batista.

The United States and Cuba: Hegemony and Dependent Development, 1880-1934

Jules Robert Benjamin
University of Pittsburgh Press

Vida Clandestina: My Life in the Cuban Revolution

Enrique Oltuski

The Virginius Affair

Richard H. Bradford
Colorado Associated University Press

Venceremos Brigade: Young Americans Sharing the Life and Work of Revolutionary Cuba

Simon & Shuster


Versos Sencillos: Simple Verses

José Martí – Translated by Manuel A. Tellechea
Arte Público Press

Probably the best translation available of José Martí’s poetry. Fun. Entertaining. Brilliant.

The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History & Historiography

Louis A. Pérez Jr.

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 | Front Door