Rachel Hynson's book is a cogently conceptualized and painstakingly researched study of the Cuban revolutionary leadership's attempts to engineer relatively conservative gender and sexual norms among the Cuban populace from 1959 to 1971. The book describes two mutually reinforcing transformations: the Cuban state's increasing political authoritarianism and its attempts to monopolize definitions of appropriate morality. Hynson focuses on state campaigns to manage women's biological reproduction, promote legal marriage, end prostitution, and force men into approved forms of waged labor. Through these four campaigns, Hynson argues, the Cuban state attempted to create and enforce what she calls the “New Family,” a heterosexual, implicitly white nuclear family with a male breadwinner.

Hynson powerfully challenges several widespread assumptions about the Cuban Revolution. First, many observers have argued that the revolution progressively restricted individual political and civil rights while expanding collective social rights such as rights...

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