Lillian Guerra's previous work has been an illuminating attempt to provide an alternative to the Cuban government's official history of the revolution. However, this is not the case with her new book here under review.

This book is based on the erroneous premise that before the overthrow of the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship on January 1, 1959, there was “an already prepared, already revolutionary citizenry” (p. 14). In fact, however, the anti-imperialist and anticapitalist sentiment engendered by the revolution of 1933 had greatly declined by the 1940s and 1950s for various reasons, including the gradual abandonment of anti-imperialism by the principal nationalist parties (the Auténticos and their Ortodoxo offspring), and by the Communist alliance with Batista (1938–44) that emphasized antifascism and played down anti-imperialist and anticapitalist politics. This decline was a major reason why the 26th of July Movement did not advocate a social revolution before it came to power.


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