Havana Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis

1209 WordsJan 28, 20185 Pages
For those who have not studied Cuba, it is simply ‘that socialist island in the Caribbean’, reducing a fascinating history to one label. The book ‘Havana: Two faces of the Antillean Metropolis’ by Scarpaci, Segre and Coyula helps to debunk this myth through the story of its capital city and its citizens proving that Havana, and by extension Cuba, is a complex, contradictory country where “history has left its handprint on every street corner” (back cover). The general theme in Cuban studies is that Cuba is a country of many contradictions and dichotomies; the book perpetuates this idea through its exploration of Havana emphasizing dichotomies such as those between the Spanish and American Influence, pre and post-revolution, capitalist and socialist Cuba, and the Havana experienced by tourists and locals. Havana: Two faces of the Antillean Metropolis explores the fascinating city of Havana throughout the turbulent history of Cuba, from Spanish colonization, through the American era and the revolution of 1959 to the early 2000’s. It is one of a limited number of novels on Havana written in English and part of a series exploring cities around the world (foreword). One of the most striking features of the book is the varied backgrounds of the three authors; Scarpaci, a professor of urban affairs from the United States, Segre a professor of architecture and urbanism from Brazil and Coyula, the only Cuban of the group, an architect and planner from Havana (foreword). Contrary

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