Americans of a certain generation know C. Wright Mills for his iconic critiques of the US “power elite,” Cold War big-power machinations, and the alienated habitus of the postwar middle classes. These works earned the sociologist a dedicated following within the New Left, the political and intellectual movement that he helped to shape. Cubanists, however, maintain a rather different image of Mills as the author of the polemical 1960 tract Listen, Yankee: The Revolution in Cuba. His sympathetic portrait of the Cuban Revolution, based on a 16-day trip to the island in August 1960, quickly became a best seller in the United States, Latin America, and beyond and helped to thread anti-imperialist politics into the ethos of hemispheric youth protest. Though Mills died shortly after the book's publication, for decades thereafter he would be credited with—or blamed for—the explosion of international...

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