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Haydee Santamaria, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression (Hardback)
  • Haydee Santamaria, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression (Hardback)
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Haydee Santamaria, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression (Hardback)

(author)
£83.00
Hardback 248 Pages / Published: 14/08/2015
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Taking part in the Cuban Revolution's first armed action in 1953, enduring the torture and killings of her brother and fiance, assuming a leadership role in the underground movement, and smuggling weapons into Cuba, Haydee Santamaria was the only woman to participate in every phase of the Revolution. Virtually unknown outside of Cuba, Santamaria was a trusted member of Fidel Castro's inner circle and friend of Che Guevara. Following the Revolution's victory Santamaria founded and ran the cultural and arts institution Casa de las Americas, which attracted cutting-edge artists, exposed Cubans to some of the world's greatest creative minds, and protected queer, black, and feminist artists from state repression. Santamaria's suicide in 1980 caused confusion and discomfort throughout Cuba; despite her commitment to the Revolution, communist orthodoxy's disapproval of suicide prevented the Cuban leadership from mourning and celebrating her in the Plaza of the Revolution. In this impressionistic portrait of her friend Haydee Santamaria, Margaret Randall shows how one woman can help change the course of history.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822359425
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 476 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Santamaria's story is one which should be told, and Randall does so vividly and insightfully." * Publishers Weekly *
"[T]he past is sometimes hard to put away, as Randall's loving elegy to Haydee Santamaria shows. ... Her life story demonstrates the heavy costs that prolonged revolutionary struggles can extract even from their apparent victors. A feminist sensibility adds poignancy to Randall's tender, impressionistic portrait of a self-effacing and melancholic yet much revered Cuban fighter." -- Richard Feinberg * Foreign Affairs *
"Margaret Randall brings a poet's voice to her work. She captures history, gleans it from correspondence, interviews, and research, but imbues it with an uncommon lyrical quality. ... Both of Randall's recent books make Cuba come alive. These books are well timed with the restoration of diplomatic relations and the easing of travel restrictions. They convey the vibrant history of revolutionary change. They also give human dimensions to the heroes of that revolution, reminding us what they risked, the losses they suffered, and what they were able to achieve." -- Alice Embree * The Rag Blog *
"The life of Haydee Santamaria was divided between a few days of heroism and decades of bureaucratic toil. A new biography by the poet and activist Margaret Randall, who knew and loved her, tells stories of courage and sacrifice that sometimes make her sound too amazing to be true." -- Lorna Scott Fox * Bookforum *
"Much more than a straightforward biography of one woman, this intimate account of revolution, bordering on the autobiographical at times, will surely inspire readers to ponder change in their own societies. ...Essential. All levels/libraries."
-- B. A. Lucero * Choice *
"Haydee Santamaria, Cuban Revolutionary delves deftly into an extraordinary life, tying in the author's own experiences and memories of Santamaria with biographical facts and interviews to present a detailed, yet personal history that speaks not only of the successes of the Revolution, but also the personal impact that such upheaval can bring. ...Margaret Randall has created an engaging book that invites the reader to share in her reflections on arguably one of the most influential, but lesser known, figures of the Cuban revolution." -- Katherine Bailey * LSE Review of Books *
"In brisk, gripping prose, Randall makes clear the challenges faced by a woman forging a new society in the second half of the twentieth century. . . . This is a deeply personal book about a heroic woman, written by someone justifiably proud to call Haydee Santamaria a friend." -- Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt * Monthly Review *
"[O]ne comes away with a sense of Santamaria as a principled and humane leader, as a woman before her time, and as an extraordinary, if flawed, human being. Because Randall is a poet her book is more lyrical and personal than academic in its approach. The end result is a book that sheds new light on one of Cuba's most vital, and least known, revolutionaries." -- J. Patrice McSherry * Journal of Global South Studies *
"Randall delivers a portrait that is touching and empathetic, and which should be interesting to novices as well as specialists in Cuban history." -- Michelle Chase * Bulletin of Latin American Research *
"... Randall's book constitutes a superb example of feminist recov-ery work. It is by far the most comprehensive account on this revolutionary woman, who is little known outside of Cuba. Political leanings aside, Randall's book is essential to readers looking to educate themselves, expand their knowledge on or consider a more unorthodox narrative on either Haydee Santamaria or 20th-century Cuban history." -- Silvia M. Roca-Martinez * The Latin Americanist *
"[T]his is an outstanding study that explores the complexities and contradictions of the life of Haydee Santamaria, a key figure in the attack on Moncada, rebellion, and revolution. It is written for anyone interested in social justice, women, culture, or Cuba. Readers will certainly not be disappointed." -- Emily J. Kirk * International Journal of Cuban Studies *

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