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Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959
A Critical Assessment
One of the Cuban Revolution's most informed and insightful historians assesses -- from the left -- its impact and legacy.

Uncritically lauded by the left and impulsively denounced by the right, the Cuban Revolution is almost universally viewed one dimensionally. Farber, one of its most informed left-wing critics, provides a much-needed critical assessment of the revolution’s impact and legacy.
Reviews
  • "THE Cuban story twists and turns as we speak, so thank goodness for scholars such as Samuel Farber, an unapologetic Marxist whose knowledge of Cuban affairs is unrivalled … In this excellent, necessary book, Farber takes stock of 50 years of revolutionary control by recognising achievements but lambasting authoritarianism."
    —Latin American Review of Books

    “For some left-socialists like Farber, no society seems to have measured up since the Paris Commune of 1871. But patient readers will be rewarded by his frequent insights, stimulating historical comparisons, and command of the data relating to Cuba’s economic and social performance.”
    —Foreign Affairs

    ""Though countless analyses evaluate just how thoroughly the revolution has transformed Cuba over the past 50 years, few rival Samuel Farber’s work Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment"
    —Rebecca Whedon, Foreign Policy in Focus

    "I believe this book is destined to become a classic."
    —Alejandro Anreus, Z Mag

    “A courageous and formidable balance-sheet of the Cuban Revolution, including a sobering analysis of a draconian ‘reform’ program that will only deepen the gulf between revolutionary slogans and the actual life of the people.”
    —Mike Davis professor, University of California, Riverside; author, Planet of Slums and In Praise of Barbarians

    “[O]pposed as much to neoliberal thought as to the perversions of Stalinist and postmodern communist statism, Farber sets out to critically explore the course followed by the society, government, and
    power structures that emerged from the Cuban Revolution of 1959. . . . A necessary and suggestive
    reading for all of those concerned with Cuba’s future and with the threat posed by the imperial
    power over the entire Caribbean region.”
    —Adolfo Gilly, emeritus professor of history, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

    “This important, very well-written, and quite interesting book, evaluates the fifty-two years of the Cuban Revolution under a classical Marxist (pre-Stalinist) viewpoint. . . . [Farber] evaluates, with surprising insights, Cuba’s performance on national sovereignty, political democracy, economic growth, social welfare, race, gender, and the stand of domestic and external dissidents and critics. . . . Expect a
    strong reaction both from the right and the left. Don’t miss it!”
    —Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh

    “Farber’s comprehensive and well-written assessment of Cuba’s experience since 1959 is rooted in
    history, informed by the comparative sociology of communist regimes, and rich in insightful and
    feisty analysis.”
    —Jorge I. Domínguez, professor of Mexican and Latin American politics and economics, Harvard University

    “While acknowledging achievements of the revolutionary process in education and health, and defending Cuban sovereignty against imperial intervention, Farber shatters many of the idyllic myths
    propagated by left-wing apologists for the regime’s authoritarianism. . . . A revolutionary democratic
    alternative, Farber shows, will only be possible through socialist resistance from below.”
    —Jeffery R. Webber, author, From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales

    “Samuel Farber is an excellent teacher … I found myself ending the book humbly grateful to the author for so many things, including his impeccable scholarship and his implacable commitment to the truth.”
    —Havana Times

    "Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: a Critical Assessment is essential reading for anyone on the left concerned with the history and future of the Cuban revolution in particular, and of socialism in general. Farber’s meticulously researched and lucidly argued investigation of over half a century of Cuban "socialism" presents a challenge to supporters and opponents of the Cuban revolution on both the left and right, particularly for those anti-Stalinists who believe that "Cuba is different" from other bureaucratic societies."
    —Charles Post, New Politics

    “Samuel Farber's Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment is bound to change the way we think about Latin America's most important socialist experiment … [The Book] provides a devastating critique of the Castro government in an historical synthesis rich in theoretical and empirical detail.”
    Neil A. Burron, Socialist Studies
  • "THE Cuban story twists and turns as we speak, so thank goodness for scholars such as Samuel Farber, an unapologetic Marxist whose knowledge of Cuban affairs is unrivalled … In this excellent, necessary book, Farber takes stock of 50 years of revolutionary control by recognising achievements but lambasting authoritarianism."
    Latin American Review of Books

    “For some left-socialists like Farber, no society seems to have measured up since the Paris Commune of 1871. But patient readers will be rewarded by his frequent insights, stimulating historical comparisons, and command of the data relating to Cuba’s economic and social performance.”
    Foreign Affairs

    ""Though countless analyses evaluate just how thoroughly the revolution has transformed Cuba over the past 50 years, few rival Samuel Farber’s work Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment"
    —Rebecca Whedon, Foreign Policy in Focus

    "I believe this book is destined to become a classic."
    —Alejandro Anreus, Z Mag

    “A courageous and formidable balance-sheet of the Cuban Revolution, including a sobering analysis of a draconian ‘reform’ program that will only deepen the gulf between revolutionary slogans and the actual life of the people.”
    —Mike Davis professor, University of California, Riverside; author, Planet of Slums and In Praise of Barbarians

    “[O]pposed as much to neoliberal thought as to the perversions of Stalinist and postmodern communist statism, Farber sets out to critically explore the course followed by the society, government, and
    power structures that emerged from the Cuban Revolution of 1959. . . . A necessary and suggestive
    reading for all of those concerned with Cuba’s future and with the threat posed by the imperial
    power over the entire Caribbean region.”
    —Adolfo Gilly, emeritus professor of history, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

    “This important, very well-written, and quite interesting book, evaluates the fifty-two years of the Cuban Revolution under a classical Marxist (pre-Stalinist) viewpoint. . . . [Farber] evaluates, with surprising insights, Cuba’s performance on national sovereignty, political democracy, economic growth, social welfare, race, gender, and the stand of domestic and external dissidents and critics. . . . Expect a
    strong reaction both from the right and the left. Don’t miss it!”
    —Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh

    “Farber’s comprehensive and well-written assessment of Cuba’s experience since 1959 is rooted in
    history, informed by the comparative sociology of communist regimes, and rich in insightful and
    feisty analysis.”
    —Jorge I. Domínguez, professor of Mexican and Latin American politics and economics, Harvard University

    “While acknowledging achievements of the revolutionary process in education and health, and defending Cuban sovereignty against imperial intervention, Farber shatters many of the idyllic myths
    propagated by left-wing apologists for the regime’s authoritarianism. . . . A revolutionary democratic
    alternative, Farber shows, will only be possible through socialist resistance from below.”
    —Jeffery R. Webber, author, From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales

    “Samuel Farber is an excellent teacher … I found myself ending the book humbly grateful to the author for so many things, including his impeccable scholarship and his implacable commitment to the truth.”
    Havana Times

    "Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: a Critical Assessment is essential reading for anyone on the left concerned with the history and future of the Cuban revolution in particular, and of socialism in general. Farber’s meticulously researched and lucidly argued investigation of over half a century of Cuban "socialism" presents a challenge to supporters and opponents of the Cuban revolution on both the left and right, particularly for those anti-Stalinists who believe that "Cuba is different" from other bureaucratic societies."
    —Charles Post, New Politics

    “Samuel Farber's Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment is bound to change the way we think about Latin America's most important socialist experiment … [The Book] provides a devastating critique of the Castro government in an historical synthesis rich in theoretical and empirical detail.”
    Neil A. Burron, Socialist Studies

Other books by Samuel Farber

  • The Politics of Che Guevara

    A political portrait focused on Guevara’s thought and political record aimed at dispelling many of the myths about the revolutionary.