The Problem of Democracy in Cuba: Between Vision and Reality

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9780195090147: The Problem of Democracy in Cuba: Between Vision and Reality
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Drawing on years of field research in Cuba, this text examines the relationship between socialism and democracy, in classical Marxist theory and in the practice of the Cuban revolution. While the author notes the roles that underdevelopment and external threat have played in undermining the possibility for democratic socialism in this century, she focuses specifically upon a theoretical heritage plagued by silences, absences and simplifications concerning key political questions. Within this framework, she then turns to the Cuban revolution and, in a revisionist interpretation, identifies the succession of critical moments at which the question of democracy was raised and the nature of the leadership's response, or lack thereof. She maintains that the consistency with which the leadership reined in, at these moments, the possibilities it itself had evoked, compounded by its extreme paternalism, has been as destructive of the social project of the revolution as the dire economic straits in which Cuba finds itself in a post-socialist world. For courses in Latin American studies, Cuban studies, comparative socialist history, and political theory, this probing analysis provides a unique and informative look at the ideological legacy of a nation struggling to endure the changing tides of history.

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About the Author:

Carollee Bengelsdorf is at Hampshire College.

Review:

"[T]he ideas have been distilled and refined, nothing has been improvised....[Bengelsdorf] immersed [herself] in a phenomenal amount of information that...has been turned into useful knowledge....[The author] has added a new and decidedly relevant wrinkle to the Cuban story."--Latin American
Studies

"[E]ngrossing, lucidly written book..."--NACLA Report on the Americas

"[M]any insights..."--Times Higher Education Supplement

"A theoretically elegant book dealing not only with postrevolutionary Cuba but also with the much deeper definitions and redefinitions of democracy....[A]n extremely sophisticated critique of Cuban politics from the 1960s to the present. Highly recommended."--Choice

"The best book I have ever read on the question of socialism and democracy. It is thoughtful, interesting, and admirably free of jargon. Its insights have been most useful to me in the "Marxism and Socialism" course I am teaching this semester."--Michael Engel, Westfield State College

"An excellent and brutally honest analysis of the contradictions in Cuba's Marxist approach to democracy. While clearly highlighting the problems, it does so in a non-anatagonistic fashion while also recognizing the goals, actual accomplishments and other factors facing the Cuban
Revolution."--Richard Levy, Salem State College

"An excellent book, thoughtful, beautifully written. The best book I have read on socialism and the state."--Michael Engel, Westfield State College

"Carollee Bengelsdorf is one of the most perceptive and intelligent observers of Cuba's political system that we have in this country. The kind of qualitative field work that she has been able to do in Cuba over the years is unique. Her discussion of popular power in Cuba contains a
concreteness and depth that is simply not available in any existing study on post-1958 Cuba."--Andrew Zimbalist, Smith College

"Superb for classroom use. An important, original contribution and a wonderful example of the best kind of integration of theory and empirical work. I look forward to assigning the book in my classes."--Carmen Diana Deere, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and President of the Latin
American Studies Association

"[Carollee Bengelsdorf] takes [Castro] to task for his failure to build a genuine democracy based on a strong civil society. By focusing on the contradictions between democracy and socialism, Bengelsdorf has broken new ground in Cuba scholarship... [Socialists] can thank Carollee Bengelsdorf
for illuminating the crucial challenge they must face: the tension between democracy and the state."--Nation

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9780195058260: The Problem of Democracy in Cuba: Between Vision and Reality

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Drawing on years of field research in Cuba, this text examines the relationship between socialism and democracy, in classical Marxist theory and in the practice of the Cuban revolution. While the author notes the roles that underdevelopment and external threat have played in undermining the possibility for democratic socialism in this century, she focuses specifically upon a theoretical heritage plagued by silences, absences and simplifications concerning key political questions. Within this framework, she then turns to the Cuban revolution and, in a revisionist interpretation, identifies the succession of critical moments at which the question of democracy was raised and the nature of the leadership s response, or lack thereof. She maintains that the consistency with which the leadership reined in, at these moments, the possibilities it itself had evoked, compounded by its extreme paternalism, has been as destructive of the social project of the revolution as the dire economic straits in which Cuba finds itself in a post-socialist world. This probing analysis provides a unique and informative look at the ideological legacy of a nation struggling to endure the changing tides of history. Seller Inventory # APC9780195090147

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 240 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.8in. x 0.7in.Drawing on years of field research in Cuba, this text examines the relationship between socialism and democracy, in classical Marxist theory and in the practice of the Cuban revolution. While the author notes the roles that underdevelopment and external threat have played in undermining the possibility for democratic socialism in this century, she focuses specifically upon a theoretical heritage plagued by silences, absences and simplifications concerning key political questions. Within this framework, she then turns to the Cuban revolution and, in a revisionist interpretation, identifies the succession of critical moments at which the question of democracy was raised and the nature of the leaderships response, or lack thereof. She maintains that the consistency with which the leadership reined in, at these moments, the possibilities it itself had evoked, compounded by its extreme paternalism, has been as destructive of the social project of the revolution as the dire economic straits in which Cuba finds itself in a post-socialist world. For courses in Latin American studies, Cuban studies, comparative socialist history, and political theory, this probing analysis provides a unique and informative look at the ideological legacy of a nation struggling to endure the changing tides of history. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780195090147

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Drawing on years of field research in Cuba, this text examines the relationship between socialism and democracy, in classical Marxist theory and in the practice of the Cuban revolution. While the author notes the roles that underdevelopment and external threat have played in undermining the possibility for democratic socialism in this century, she focuses specifically upon a theoretical heritage plagued by silences, absences and simplifications concerning key political questions. Within this framework, she then turns to the Cuban revolution and, in a revisionist interpretation, identifies the succession of critical moments at which the question of democracy was raised and the nature of the leadership s response, or lack thereof. She maintains that the consistency with which the leadership reined in, at these moments, the possibilities it itself had evoked, compounded by its extreme paternalism, has been as destructive of the social project of the revolution as the dire economic straits in which Cuba finds itself in a post-socialist world. This probing analysis provides a unique and informative look at the ideological legacy of a nation struggling to endure the changing tides of history. Seller Inventory # APC9780195090147

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