by Ted A. Henken, Miriam Celaya, and Dimas Castellanos, Editors
October 2013, 596pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-011-9
$98, £73, 82€, A140
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-012-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Cuba has a growing number of bloggers and Twitter users despite its very low Internet penetration and cellphone usage.

Written by some of the best-known independent scholars, citizen journalists, cyber-activists, and bloggers living in Cuba today, this book presents a critical, complete, and unbiased overview of contemporary Cuba.

In this era of ever-increasing globalization and communication across national borders, Cuba remains an isolated island oddly out of step with the rest of the world. And yet, Cuba is beginning to evolve via the important if still insufficient changes instituted by Raul Castro, who became president in 2008. This book supplies a uniquely independent, accurate, and critical perspective in order to evaluate these changes in the context of the island’s rich and complex history and culture. Organized into seven topical chapters that address geography, history, politics and government, economics, society, culture, and contemporary issues, readers will gain a broad, insightful understanding of one of the most unusual, fascinating, and often misunderstood nations in the Western Hemisphere.


  • Pays special attention to the opportunities, limitations, and challenges presented by the leadership of Raul Castro and his reforms
  • Provides an accurate, insider's perspective into contemporary Cuba supplied by Cubans who currently live and work on the island, in stark contrast with most accounts that are filtered through the lens of an outside observer
  • Supplies readers with a critical, comprehensive review of Cuban history, economics, politics, culture, and society that places current developments in historical context
  • Includes a glossary, an appendix of up-to-date statistical information, dozens of sidebars on a variety of important and unusual topics, and an annotated bibliography
Ted A. Henken, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Baruch College, City University of New York. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Cuba: A Global Studies Handbook as well as articles on Cuba in the academic journals Cuban Studies, Cuban Affairs, Latin American Research Review, Latino Studies, Cuba in Transition, Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, and Nueva Sociedad. Henken also writes about contemporary Cuba on his blog, "El Yuma" ( and is frequently interviewed about Cuba by major international media, including The New York Times, NPR, BBC, the Associated Press, Reuters, The Christian Science Monitor, The Miami Herald, Univision, Telemundo, and Marti Noticias. Henken holds a doctorate in Latin American studies from Tulane University.

Miriam Celaya is an independent journalist who regularly publishes articles in Diario de Cuba, Convivencia, and Voces magazine, and was a cofounder of the independent digital magazine Consenso (2004–2007). She is also the author of "Sin Evasión" (, one of Cuba's best-known blogs. Celaya earned her bachelor's degree in art history from the University of Havana and did graduate work in anthropology at the University of Havana and the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, where she worked as an archeologist between 1984 and 2005. She has also worked as a professor of Spanish language and literature and lectured on Cuban history, archeology, and anthropology at the University of Havana, the Superior Institute of Industrial Design (ISDI), and the National Center for Preservation, Restoration and Museology (CENCREM). Celaya has published articles about native Cuban art and archeology in various cultural and scientific journals.

Dimas Castellanos writes for the digital publications Diario de Cuba, Convivencia, and Voces magazine. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Havana in 1975 and a degree in theology from Havana's Advanced Institute of Biblical and Theological Studies in 2006. He has taught Marxist philosophy at the University of Havana. An independent journalist, he also publishes his own blog, "El Blog de Dimas" ( and has won numerous journalism awards for his work. Castellanos has presented academic papers in the United States and Europe, including "Birth and Death of Civil Society in Cuba," at the Institute of Latin America of the University of Berlin and at the Department of Sociology of the University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain (2009).


"This book is written very honestly with thought-provoking facts about one of our more interesting Latin American neighbors. This title is recommended for large public libraries and academic libraries."—ARBA, January 1, 2014
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