The death of Fidel Castro marks the end of an era. There are no simple obituaries for this man in American media; indeed, there is no way to talk about him in American culture without thinking critically about his role in history, his political power, and his relationship to the United States. Here, we share the perspectives of some of the historians of Cuba published by UNC Press who have been called on by the media to respond to this historical moment.
With his arrival in Cuba yesterday, President Barack Obama has become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the island nation since 1928. This three-day trip is just one step in the major shift under the Obama administration to begin to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. For insightful historical perspective on what this trip means, we check in with some UNC Press authors who are providing helpful analysis.
In light of the sea change in U.S.-Cuban relations, I am delighted to recommend two books to anyone who wants to get up to speed: On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture, by Louis A. Pérez Jr., and Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana, by William LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh.