Inside the Cuban Revolution

Inside the Cuban Revolution

Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground

eBook - 2002
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Harvard University Press

Julia Sweig shatters the mythology surrounding the Cuban Revolution in a compelling revisionist history that reconsiders the revolutionary roles of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and restores to a central position the leadership of the Cuban urban underground, the Llano. Granted unprecedented access to the classified records of Castro's 26th of July Movement's underground operatives--the only scholar inside or outside of Cuba allowed access to the complete collection in the Cuban Council of State's Office of Historic Affairs--she details the ideological, political, and strategic debates between Castro's mountain-based guerrilla movement and the urban revolutionaries in Havana, Santiago, and other cities.

In a close study of the fifteen months from November 1956 to July 1958, when the urban underground leadership was dominant, Sweig examines the debate between the two groups over whether to wage guerrilla warfare in the countryside or armed insurrection in the cities, and is the first to document the extent of Castro's cooperation with the Llano. She unveils the essential role of the urban underground, led by such figures as Frank País, Armando Hart, Haydée Santamaria, Enrique Oltuski, and Faustino Pérez, in controlling critical decisions on tactics, strategy, allocation of resources, and relations with opposition forces, political parties, Cuban exiles, even the United States--contradicting the standard view of Castro as the primary decision maker during the revolution.

In revealing the true relationship between Castro and the urban underground, Sweig redefines the history of the Cuban Revolution, offering guideposts for understanding Cuban politics in the 1960s and raising intriguing questions for the future transition of power in Cuba.


Sweig shatters the mythology surrounding the Cuban Revolution in a compelling revisionist history that reconsiders the revolutionary roles of Castro and Guevara and restores to a central position the leadership of the Llano. Granted unprecedented access to the classified records of Castro's 26th of July Movement's underground operatives--the only scholar inside or outside of Cuba allowed access to the complete collection in the Cuban Council of State's Office of Historic Affairs--she details the debates between Castro's mountain-based guerrilla movement and the urban revolutionaries in Havana, Santiago, and other cities.

Baker & Taylor
The author re-evaluates the Cuban revolution finding evidence that the urban underground deserves greater consideration in evaluating the success of the revolution.

Blackwell North Amer
Granted unprecedented access to the classified records of Castro's 26th of July Movement's underground operatives - the only scholar inside or outside Cuba allowed access to the complete collection in the Cuban Council of State's Office of Historic Affairs - Julia Sweig details the ideological, political, and strategic debates between Castro's mountain-based guerrilla movement and the urban revolutionaries in Havana, Santiago, and other cities.

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, ©2002
ISBN: 9780674044197
0674044193
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xv, 254 pages) : illustrations
Alternative Title: Cuban Revolution

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lukasevansherman
Dec 20, 2016

With the recent death of Fidel Castro, there may be a renewed interest in Cuban politics and the Cuban Revolution. Younger people might ask "Wait, why do we hate Cuba again?" I never studied anything about Cuba or the roots of the revolution in school and still don't really have a full picture of it, although I know part of "The Godfather II" is set right before the fall of Batista. "Inside the Cuban Revolution" is not the book to start with. Published by Harvard University Press and written by Julia Sweig, who worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, the book presumes a familiarity with the history and feels written for a mostly academic audience. Sweig, who was granted access to new documents by the Cuban government, focuses on 2 key years leading up to the revolution, 1957-1958, and details the many groups opposed to the Batista government, of which Castro and his campadres, was just one, and makes the case that the urban groups were an important part of the revolution, something which the Castro narrative leaves out. Again, not a book for the Cuba novice. I might start with Jon Lee Anderson's biography of Che.

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