Revolution is a phenomenon that has haunted the pages of history, whether as reality or as a Spectre conjured up by Karl Marx. Of late it has traveled far and wide, and Fred Halliday has followed it to far-off places - Cuba, southern Arabia, Iran - in the quest of history in the making. Among the many revealing points he takes note of are the names that men have given to it (pp.
Peter Russell's Henry 'the Navigator' is one of those rare books which has had classic, or rather legendary, status even before it was published.
Recent studies in Latin American history have increasingly rejected the periodisation inherited in the traditional historiography. In other words, the notion that the Wars of Independence (c. 1810 - c. 1825) represented a clear break with the colonial past has become both questioned and contested.
This volume is a collection of seven essays on Latin America by James Dunkerley, all written and published separately between 1992 and 1999. The most immediate question posed, given the wide and varied range in topic covered and in approach (no two essays being alike), is both how the essays work individually and, more pertinently, how coherently they hang together.
NB. This review has been translated from the Spanish by Natalie Sobrevilla.
The Caribbean is not only made up of the islands in the Caribbean Sea but also of the mainland territories of Belize, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana. The region is marked by diversity. Some territories are very small, such as St. Martin, which has a surface area of thirty-seven square miles and a population of 73,000.
‘Look into his eyes: could you ever say “no” to a man like that?’ We were standing before a portrait of Emiliano Zapata; the woman who would have found it hard to say ‘no’ was a young, middle-class professional from Mexico City who had generously taken up the task of introducing her nation’s language and history to me.
Given the division of opinion over the nature of Cuban Revolution, it has always been hard to find a general work on the subject that does not merely tell half the story. However, Toni Kapcia has now provided us with a book which, while comprehensible to a general audience or a useful introduction for students, will nevertheless provide insights for the more specialist reader.
This is an important volume that hopefully will disseminate new ideas and stimulate new research outside and beyond the communities of Enlightenment and Atlantic historians that have contributed to it. The Southern Atlantic has been the site of some of the most interesting recent work in Atlantic history.
Following an initial irritation, I found myself warming to this book. At first sight, it seems to uncritically support the Cuban Revolution. However, as one progresses the tone becomes much more nuanced. There emerges a basic sympathy for the aims and objects of the revolution, clearly announced in the introduction, without hiding areas where Cuba has not lived up to these expectations.