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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Cuba

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXCBA44. Buy these 5 items as a set for $87 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Without Fidel

Without Fidel

by Ann Louise Bardach

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • HARD COVER
  • 176 PAGES
  • COMING IN APRIL

A PEN Award-winning journalist who has covered Cuba for 15 years, Bardach (Cuba Confidential) brings knowledge, tenacity and verve to this report on the future of the country. (CBA112, $28.00)

Cuba Diaries

Cuba Diaries

by Isadora Tattlin

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

In this rousing memoir, subtitled An American Housewife in Havana, Tattlin writes with verve of her family's "rowdy, ambiguous, ironic and sometimes exhilarating time" living in 1990s Cuba. (CBA74, $15.00)

Cuba, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Cuba, A Traveler's Literary Companion

by Ann Louise Bardach

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 234 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
  • >

Bardach (Without Fidel) samples terrific contemporary writers for this anthology, organized geographically. (CBA58, $14.95)

Moon Handbook Cuba

Moon Handbook Cuba

by Christopher P. Baker

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 684 PAGES

Baker's comprehensive, indispensable guide leaves no stone unturned, covering the natural, cultural and political life of the island with style. (CBA04, $24.95)

Cuba Map

Cuba Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

A detailed, double-sided laminated map at a scale of 1:1,000,000. (CBA20, $10.95)

 
National Geographic Cuba

National Geographic Cuba


by Christopher P. Baker

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

A traveler's guide to the history, nature, culture and attractions of Cuba, thoroughly illustrated in dependable National Geographic style. (CBA109, $22.95)

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba


by Tom Gjelten

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 432 PAGES

Gjelten chronicles the rich intersection of power and politics, community and exile in contemporary Cuba through the saga of the Bacardi family. A fixture in making 1920s Havana a playground for the rich and famous in the Prohibition era, Bacardi -- and its proprietary yeast strain -- famously left Cuba for Puerto Rico during the revolution. (CBA117, $18.00)

Cuba Confidential, Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana

Cuba Confidential, Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana


by Ann Louise Bardach

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 423 PAGES

Investigative reporter Bardach uses the media circus and shenanigans surrounding Elian Gonzalez as a lens to examine heated relations between Cuban exiles in Miami, Castro's government and the United States. (CBA71, $16.95)

Cuba, What Everyone Needs to Know

Cuba, What Everyone Needs to Know


by Julia Sweig

  • HISTORY
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Julia Sweig traces the geography, history and identity of Cuba in this admirably succinct portrait of the island nation and its role in world affairs. (CBA126, $16.95)

Havana, A Cultural and Literary Companion

Havana, A Cultural and Literary Companion


by Claudia Lightfoot

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

An illuminating guide to the city, its history and geography, as the inspiration for writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals. (CBA49, $15.00)

Inside Havana

Inside Havana


by Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 240 PAGES

This handsome book showcases the diverse architecture of Havana, from modernist masterpieces to splendid baroque palaces and traditional businesses such as the Partagas cigar factory, one of Havana's oldest and finest. With expert writing by Hernandez and rich color photographs by Gianni Basso. (CBA102, $29.99)

On Becoming Cuban

On Becoming Cuban


by Louis A. Perez

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 579 PAGES

A masterful scholarly history of Cubanidad, and the love-hate relationship with the United States. (CBA43, $30.00)

Primary Health Care in Cuba, The Other Revolution

Primary Health Care in Cuba, The Other Revolution


by Laurence Branch | Linda Whiteford

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 138 PAGES

Branch and Whiteford look at Cuba's approaches to child and maternal health, control of communicable and contagious diseases, treatment of chronic diseases, and care for the elderly in this scholarly overview. (CBA147, $24.95)

That Infernal Little Cuban Republic, The United States and the Cuban Revolution

That Infernal Little Cuban Republic, The United States and the Cuban Revolution


by Lars Schoultz

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 745 PAGES

Drawing on a rich array of firsthand documents and interviews, Schoultz explores the efforts of ten U.S. administrations to end the Cuban Revolution. (CBA128, $32.00)

The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics

The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics


by Aviva Chomsky | Barry Carr | Pamela Maria Smorkaloff

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 723 PAGES

Organized chronologically, this multi-faceted portrait of a nation, with most of the selections by Cuban writers, includes not only history, journalism and literature but also songs, paintings, poems, cartoons and speeches. (CBA93, $29.95)

Cuba and Its Music, From the First Drums to the Mambo

Cuba and Its Music, From the First Drums to the Mambo


by Ned Sublette

  • MUSIC
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 688 PAGES

A thorough and entertaining history of Cuba and its music by the popular radio producer, music historian and cofounder of Cuban record label QbaDisc. (CBA129, $21.95)

Cuba Classics, A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles

Cuba Classics, A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles


by Christopher P. Baker

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2006
  • HARD COVER
  • 208 PAGES

Himself a fan of the open road, Baker celebrates the extraordinary cars, the remarkable people who love them and the Cuban love affair with the U.S. automobile in dozens of dazzling color photographs. (CBA158, $29.95)

Cuba, Art and History from 1868 to Today

Cuba, Art and History from 1868 to Today


by Nathalie Bondil

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

With ravishing color reproductions of murals, posters, paintings and photographs, this magnificent book documents the history of art in Cuba from independence. (CBA127, $49.95)

Havana, History and Architecture of a Romantic City

Havana, History and Architecture of a Romantic City


by Maria Luisa Lobo Montalvo | Hugh Thomas

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2009
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

This magnificent history of Havana, featuring 480 color illustrations, shows the city and its growth from its founding as a Spanish colony to independence. (CBA46, $85.00)

Havana, Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis

Havana, Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis


by Joseph Scarpaci | Roberto Segre | Mario Coyula

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 437 PAGES

Two leading Cuban architects and a U.S. geographer present a historical overview of Havana's urban-social geography from 1519 until today. An American Library Association Choice Outstanding Book Award winner. (CBA91, $30.00)

Che Guevara, A Revolutionary Life

Che Guevara, A Revolutionary Life


by Jon Lee Anderson

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 672 PAGES

A revised and updated edition of Anderson's definitive biography, published to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. (CBA113, $20.00)

Mi Moto Fidel, Motorcycling through Castro's Cuba

Mi Moto Fidel, Motorcycling through Castro's Cuba


by Christopher P. Baker

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • HARD COVER
  • 305 PAGES
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE
  • OUT OF PRINT

Baker's lively account of a three-month tour through Cuba on a big, red BMW. No shrinking violet, the popular guidebook author includes his many bar and bedroom scenes in this down-to-earth, personal portrait of contemporary Cuba. (CBA41, $24.95)

This is Cuba

This is Cuba


by Ben Corbett

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Corbett interviews everyday people living on the fringes of Castro's official Cuba for this account, both a stinging indictment of government policy and a testament to the Cuban spirit. (CBA157, $18.00)

Trading with the Enemy

Trading with the Enemy


by Tom Miller

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Miller captures the openness, sensuality and pride of Cuba and the Cubans in this eloquent account of entertaining travels in Fidel's Cuba. (CBA11, $18.00)

Dreaming in Cuban

Dreaming in Cuban


by Cristina Garcia

  • LITERATURE
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 244 PAGES

A short, poetic novel of three generations of Cuban women, their reaction to the revolution and the complex relation between those who remained in Cuba and those who settled in the United States. Excellent reading. (CBA18, $15.00)

Our Man in Havana

Our Man in Havana


by Graham Greene

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

The classic story of a British vacuum cleaner salesman who gets accidentally drawn into Cold War espionage with disastrous results. (CBA19, $15.00)

Telex from Cuba

Telex from Cuba


by Rachel Kushner

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

Kushner re-imagines the world of her mother in this astonishingly wise first novel set in the American enclave in 1950s Cuba. Riveting. (CBA111, $16.00)

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea


by Ernest Hemingway

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 127 PAGES

Hemingway's brief story of a fisherman who, after 84 days with no luck, finally makes a big catch. It's an affectionate portrait of life in Cuba and winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. (CBA02, $12.00)

A Photographic Guide to Birds of the West Indies

A Photographic Guide to Birds of the West Indies


by Allan Sander | G. Michael Flieg

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

A compact shirt-pocket guide. With a map of the islands and 300 color photographs. (CRB127, $15.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.