Antoni Kapcia


On his book Cuba in Revolution: A History Since the Fifties

Cover Interview of March 30, 2009


I would like to think of this book as contributing to breaking down the popular misunderstandings about Cuba.  I have sought to combine a readable and concise form with a genuinely novel interpretation of Cuba’s reality, one that arises from my close familiarity with Cuba but also from rigorous research.  In other words, I would love it if I had found the academic’s Holy Grail of writing a readable—popular?—book that says something serious and new, the result of real research.

I also want, as ever, to say something significant about Cuba without falling into those traps of partisan writing to which Cuba has always been subject.  I do have my views on Cuba and its Revolution, of course – how could I not?  But I always try to steer a course between what I call the ‘solidarity’ camp (where the need to defend the Revolution leads to uncritical and unsubtle judgements) and the ‘anti’ camp (where nothing in Cuba, except perhaps the social achievements of the 1960s, is worth extolling).  I don’t seek a ‘middle ground’ equidistant from those two positions.  I’m more partisan than that.  But I do seek a position that points out that Cuba is different, is worth investigating, and is worth appreciating as a complex, and not simple, reality.  I hope the book manages to shift the centre of gravity on the understanding of Cuba more towards what I feel is the truth–rather than the truth that people want to exist.

© 2009 Antoni Kapcia