The Economy of Socialist Cuba: A Two Decade Appraisal

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9780826305855: The Economy of Socialist Cuba: A Two Decade Appraisal

An analysis of economic and social policies under the Cuban revolution in its firts two decades, with the most comprehensive collection of data and information available. Arthur Whitaker Award to the best book published in 1981 in any discipline dealing with Latin America. Selected among the best books on Latin America by Choice (1982): "This book is better than anything else now available. No graduate or undergraduate library should overlook it." Chosen among the best books of the year by The Times of the Americas.

"Mesa-Lago's contribution represents the most comprehensive and best documented analysis of the Cuban economy in 1959-1981. Because of the author's long-standing experience in dealing with Cuban publications, the balanced and informed interpretation of statistical data, and the reliable use of citations, it sets a standard work against which past and future research on Cuba are to be measured" (Peter Gey, Professor of Economics, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Osteuropa Wirtschaft, 1984).

"Carmelo Mesa-Lago's book is definitely the place to turn for a thoughtful, concise, readable and authoritative appraisal of Cuba's economy under Castro. He has managed to achieve the scholarly objectivity about Cuba that eludes most observers. The picture he paints is empirically grounded, nuanced, and well worth careful study" (Abraham Lowenthal, Professor of Political Science, University of Southern California, 1981).
"... an impressive work which meets the goal of providing a balanced appraisal of Cuba's economic evolution, demonstrating once again the author's superior skills, his critical judgment, and his willingness to be guided by the evidence" (Juan del Aguila, Professor of Political Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Southeastern Latin Americanist,  1984).

 

"The author strains to be fair, even when he is clearly at his most critical... I recommend [it] highly" (Edel Matthews, Queens College, Niewe West-Indische Gids, Netherlands, 1983).

 

"Certainly one of the most documented books on the subject" (Maxime Aubert, Revue Tier Monde, 1983).

 

"Objective and professional in approach... provides a concise but integrate view of the Cuban economy" (Foreign Affairs, 1982).

 

"A solid and objective economic analysis" (Latin America in Books, 1982).

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About the Author:

Carmelo Mesa-Lago is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and has been a visiting professor, researcher or lecturer in 40 countries. Author of 82 books/phamplets and 275 articles/chapters published in 7 languages in 34 countries, on the Cuban economy, social security and comparative economic systems. Founder/editor for 18 years of Cuban Studies. His most recent books: Market, Socialist and Mixed Economies: Comparative Policy and Performance (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002); Cuba en la era de Raul Castro: Reformas economico-sociales y sus efectos (Editorial Colibri, 2012); and Cuba Under Raul Castro: Assessing the Reforms (with Jorge Pérez-López, Lynne Reinner, 2013). He has as worked throughout Latin America and the Caribbean as regional advisor for ECLAC, consultant with most international financial organizations, several U.N. branches and national/foreign foundations. Was President of the Latin American Studies Association, is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and has received the ILO International Prize on Decent Work (shared with Nelson Mandela), the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Senior Prize, two Senior Fulbrights, Arthur Whitaker and Hoover Institution Prizes, the Distinction of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, the Bicentennial Medallion of the University of Pittsburgh, Homage for his life work on social security (OISS, CISS) and the Cuban economy and other awards/grants; was finalist in Spain's Prince of Asturias Prize on Social Sciences 2009.

Review:

This book had the most impact of any book that I read on Latin America and the Caribbean in 1981. Balanced, thorough, analytical and based on extensive research in Cuba. It is simply the best book yet published on the Cuban economy" (Aaron Segal, Professor of Political Science, University of Texas, 1982).

"Few have elaborated a solid body of scientific knowledge as Mesa-Lago. His works constitute an invaluable guidance for any one interested in the Cuban economy. Through the years he has compiled, polished and, in occasions, completed the principal statistical series of Cuba. This book is useful not only to know the past but undoubtedly as an unavoidable point of reference for any analysis of the economic future of the island" (Juan Carlos Jiménez Jiménez, Revista de Historia Económica, 1985).

"This is the book for which those interested in the Cuban economy have been waiting.  Mesa-Lago has distilled, summarized, and updated the research that he has done during the last two decades. It is the essential reference work concerning the Cuban economy. It has no peer on its subject within or outside Cuba. We have at long last the major work of a major scholar. No further work can be done on the subject without taking into account this scholarly achievement" (Jorge Domínguez, Professor of Government, Harvard University, Inter-American Review of Bibliography, 1982).

"Mesa-Lago's latest book on post-revolutionary Cuba is a worthy successor to his previous indispensable contributions. Latin American studies would greatly benefit from the production of comparably sympathetic and skeptical socio-economic description for the other republics" (Lawrence Whitehead, Professor of Economics, Oxford University, Journal of Latin American Studies, 1983). 

"Mesa-Lago's analytical framework, relating performance to ideology, instruments, and goals, allows him to place in perspective virtually every aspect of Cuba's economy... which, in the admirable tradition of the Pittsburgh comparative economic group, he illustrates with substantial funds of data" (Adrienne Cheasty, Professor of Economics, Yale University, Journal of Comparative Economics, 1984)

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