Louis A. Pérez Jr., a leading American scholar of Cuba and author of many prizewinning books on Cuban history — including his five most recent books published proudly by UNC Press — was celebrated by colleagues, friends, and family last month on his induction into the 2008 class of Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers.
A surprise party at the home of Lou’s University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill colleague Lars Schoultz featured a sheet cake decorated (amazingly accurately) in the image of one of Lou’s most famous books: On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture.
On Becoming Cuban won the 2000 Bolton-Johnson Prize from the Conference on Latin American History and was a 2000 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Lou’s other UNC Press books include To Die in Cuba: Suicide and Society (winner of the 2007 Elsa Goveia Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians), Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Cuba (winner of the 2001 George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History), and The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography (a 1999 Choice Outstanding Academic Title). Lou’s authoritative one-volume history of Cuba, Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution, will soon appear in a fourth edition.
All of us at UNC Press salute and congratulate Lou Pérez for his well-deserved recognition by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and, more fundamentally, for his lifelong leadership as a superb historian of Cuba and U.S.-Cuban relations. Lou’s work has been profiled in The New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, to highlight just a few venues. His commitment to developing the field of Cuban studies is legendary — he presently serves as the editor of the UNC Press book series Envisioning Cuba and as the editor of the journal Cuban Studies. As well as being the J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he serves as director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC’s Global Education Center. Learn more about Lou’s new book: Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos.
(author photo by Deborah M. Weissman)
update: Cake made by Two Cupcakes Bakery in Durham! Bravo! – ellen