Inside El Barrio: A Bottom-Up View of Neighborhood Life in Castro's Cuba

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9781565492813: Inside El Barrio: A Bottom-Up View of Neighborhood Life in Castro's Cuba
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* Revealing portrait of daily life in Cuba that explores how the socialist system has operated on the ground over the last two decades
* Shows how social networks and neighborhoods were critical in sustaining Fidel’s regime while other socialist countries were collapsing in the late 80s

The abrupt collapse of the Soviet Union and the East European Communist Bloc in 1989 plunged Cuba into a catastrophic economic crisis that spawned unprecedented hardship, magnified social tensions, and emigration in the thousands. In July 1990, a somber Fidel Castro called upon the masses to prepare for a sustained period of hard times.

Inside El Barrio charts the legacy of Fidel Castro through the unique lens of Cuban household life during El Período Especial (the Special Period). Taylor traverses the neighborhoods and residential developments of Havana between 1989 and 2006, the final and most complex period in the "Age of Castro’s Cuba" to uncover the hidden vibrancy of Cuba’s streets and citizens. In doing so, he acquires a deeper understanding of Cuban society by exploring what it means to live in a people-centered nation and the importance of neighborhoods in shaping everyday life and culture.

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About the Author:

Henry Louis Taylor is a full professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Coordinator of the Community Development and Urban Management Specialization, and Founding Director of the University at Buffalo Center for Urban Studies (CENTER), a research, neighborhood planning and community developing institute, which focuses on developing distressed urban communities. Taylor is the editor of three books and a monograph and has written more than 80 articles, book reviews, commentaries, and technical reports on urban and regional planning. He has appeared on ABC's Nightline and has been quoted in numerous national publications, including The New York Times, USA Today, and Time magazine. He has received numerous awards for his research and neighborhood planning, and in 2005 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Professional Planner Award from the American Planning Association, New York Upstate Chapter.

Review:

"Inside El Barrio raises several philosophical questions: How much personal, political, and economic freedom should be sacrificed at the altar of creating social justice and equality? Can these high-minded ideals be achieved voluntarily or is some degree of coercion required? How is social justice measured?"

"Using a multi-methodological approach that incorporates ethnographic fieldwork,
historiography, spatial analysis (geographic information system), oral interviews, and
survey research, Professor Taylor in this study explores Havana neighbourhoods and
residential development between 1989 and 2006 to examine the outlook of ordinary
Cubans, especially Afro-Cubans and mulattos. He intends to demonstrate the importance
of neighbourhoods not only in shaping everyday life and culture but also in sustaining
Fidel’s regime in a period when other regimes in other socialist countries were collapsing."

“Henry Taylor's research is crucial and opportune, delving into a marginal culture that’s crying out for study after half a century of revolution.”

"Someone once asked me to explain Cuba. After thinking about it, I responded that it's difficult to explain something so complicated. Cubans themselves don't even understand Cuba fully: we simply live it. In this important book, Taylor attempts to bring this complex society to light by examining its social structures. He opens with his experience as a foreigner encountering a society that hides its substance (the system of principles, the relationship between institutions and individuals, class, race and rights) from outsiders. Eventually, his proximity to the people allowed him to experience Cuban society 'from within'. He discovers that there are two Cubas: one for outsiders, and another for Cubans. The two societies live parallel in harmony but seldom mix, at least in any profound way. This book attempts to break that barrier, and in the process paints a very interesting and praiseworthy picture of a society and its inhabitants."

"As a scholar of Cuba who has visited the island 35 times over a seven-year span, this is one of the best books on Cuba! Henry Louis Taylor makes an outstanding contribution to the literature. He tells us what works and what doesn't. Without hesitation, I highly recommend this book for readers seeking the truth on Cuba. I love it."

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Book Description Kumarian Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book offers a revealing portrait of daily life in Cuba that explores how the socialist system has operated on the ground over the last two decades. It shows how social networks and neighborhoods were critical in sustaining Fidel's regime while other socialist countries were collapsing in the late 80s. The abrupt collapse of the Soviet Union and the East European Communist Bloc in 1989 plunged Cuba into a catastrophic economic crisis that spawned unprecedented hardship, magnified social tensions, and emigration in the thousands. In July 1990, a somber Fidel Castro called upon the masses to prepare for a sustained period of hard times. "Inside El Barrio" charts the legacy of Fidel Castro through the unique lens of Cuban household life during El Periodo Especial (the Special Period). Taylor traverses the neighborhoods and residential developments of Havana between 1989 and 2006, the final and most complex period in the 'Age of Castro's Cuba' to uncover the hidden vibrancy of Cuba's streets and citizens. In doing so, he acquires a deeper understanding of Cuban society by exploring what it means to live in a people-centered nation and the importance of neighborhoods in shaping everyday life and culture. Seller Inventory # AAN9781565492813

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Book Description Kumarian Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book offers a revealing portrait of daily life in Cuba that explores how the socialist system has operated on the ground over the last two decades. It shows how social networks and neighborhoods were critical in sustaining Fidel's regime while other socialist countries were collapsing in the late 80s. The abrupt collapse of the Soviet Union and the East European Communist Bloc in 1989 plunged Cuba into a catastrophic economic crisis that spawned unprecedented hardship, magnified social tensions, and emigration in the thousands. In July 1990, a somber Fidel Castro called upon the masses to prepare for a sustained period of hard times. "Inside El Barrio" charts the legacy of Fidel Castro through the unique lens of Cuban household life during El Periodo Especial (the Special Period). Taylor traverses the neighborhoods and residential developments of Havana between 1989 and 2006, the final and most complex period in the 'Age of Castro's Cuba' to uncover the hidden vibrancy of Cuba's streets and citizens. In doing so, he acquires a deeper understanding of Cuban society by exploring what it means to live in a people-centered nation and the importance of neighborhoods in shaping everyday life and culture. Seller Inventory # AAN9781565492813

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