Past, Present, and Future

Transaction Publishers has a long history of producing first-rate scholarly works, among them a series of books under the title Cuban Communism, indispensable for the study of post-1959 Cuba.  The present one, by the editor of the series, covers a half-century of Cuban Marxism and introduces us to many of the major issues related to the implementation and functioning of what its advocates have traditionally called “real” socialism, as opposed to the watered-down, big-finance-friendly socialism of the European and now also American social democracies.

Written in an easy style befitting the partly autobiographical Preface, the book is a distillation of decades of work on its subject.  It comprises 47 relatively short chapters grouped chronologically in five sections: 1960’s: Guerilla Dictatorship; 1970’s: Consolidation of Communism; 1980’s: Regionalization and Retreat; and 2000’s: Dissolution of Political Power.  It concludes with a fascinating chapter on the “narcissism” of Fidel Castro’s latest “autobiography.”

Chapter 12 (“The Cuba Lobby: Supplying Rope to a Mortgaged Revolution”) and the related Chapters 35 (“The Cuba Lobby Upgrade: Plus ça Change, Plus C’est la Même Chose”) and 36 (“The Cuban Embargo and American Interest”) exemplify Horowitz’s expert knowledge of even the...

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