CUBA: Island of Paradox by Ruby Hart Phillips

CUBA: Island of Paradox

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The New York Times' Cuban correspondent has done a first-rate, carefully organized, objectively presented survey of turmoil-ridden, troubled Cuba. More than twenty years on the spot have won her affectionate respect for the quixotic Cuban temperament, knowledge and understanding of their way of life, sympathy and warmth of interpretation. In her record she goes back to 1931 and the advent of the Machado dictatorship; she includes the coup d'tal of Batista, the regimes of Grau San Martin and Socarras, and concludes with the triumph of Fidel Castro. She pictures the Cubans as a volatile, fiercely proud people who cannot accept the fact that their economy and fate are forever tied to the United States. They admire American ways and democratic principles and hate American influences in their social and political life. Violently anti-Batista, Mrs. Phillips nevertheless is somewhat sceptical in her faith in Castro. She feels his economic policy may blow up in his face and result in the rich ultimately owning everything. While she admits that Castro did not enlist Communist support, she is wary of his laxity towards them since his victory. But she feels that for the first time Cubans have a chance to establish true libertarian principles and that this may mature them to acceptance of rational social and economic democracy. For the United States she has harsh criticism- we have antagonized democratic elements in all Latin America by support of dictators; we have ignored the Red drive for the liberals and lower classes. The importance of her book is not only that Cuba is newsworthy, but a sign in the rising liberal-nationalist tide in Latin America. She pleads that we not repeat our mistakes...underrating the Castros, pacifying the dictators. The writing is the crisply factual style of the professional journalist, sophisticated and with sharp integrity. An important book.

Pub Date: July 26th, 1959
ISBN: 1597406589
Publisher: McDowell, Obolensky