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by Sebastian Balfour

eBook Castro (Profiles in Power) download ISBN: 0582029716
Author: Sebastian Balfour
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Longman Ltd (July 1, 1990)
Language: English
Pages: 208
ePub: 1491 kb
Fb2: 1581 kb
Rating: 4.4
Other formats: lrf azw docx lit
Category: Biography
Subcategory: Leaders and Notable People

This is not just another book on Cuba or Fidel Castro.

by. Sebastian Balfour (Author). Find all the books, read about the author, and more. This is not just another book on Cuba or Fidel Castro. Balfour displays both passion and critical acumen as he delves into the mind and actions of the man under whose leadership the people of Cuba have inscribed pages of human solidarity over one of the most convulsed periods of contemporary history. Pedro Pérez Sarduy, author of Las Criadas de La Habana (The Maids of Havana) and Associate Fellow, Caribbean Studies Centre, London Metropolitan University.

Sebastian Balfour (born in 1941) is an English historian and Professor Emeritus of Contemporary Spanish Studies at the London School of Economics. Chapters in collective works. Articles in academic journals. Professor Sebastian Balfour - London School of Economics.

Castro: Profiles in Power. by. Sebastian Balfour. Balfour's illuminating study is more than a personal biography, although it traces Castro's evolution from student leader to head of state.

Sebastian Balfour is Emeritus Professor of Government, Department of Government and Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. He has a long record of publications on contemporary Spain and makes frequent appearances in the media.

Balfour’s book is an excellent and concise synthesis most suited to university students or those seeking a primer on the political strategies employed by Castro to. .

Balfour’s book is an excellent and concise synthesis most suited to university students or those seeking a primer on the political strategies employed by Castro to survive more than fifty years in the face of unrelenting opposition by the United States and the Cuban exile community. In analyzing the struggle between Havana and Washington, he is careful to try and steer a steady course through the murky political waters that frequently turn scholarship into polemics.

Castro (Profiles in Power). ISBN 10: 0582029724, ISBN 13: 9780582029729.

Prologue 1. Pictures of the Past, Visions of the Future 2. The Rebel 3. Rise to Power 4. Defying the Colossus 5. The Grand Illusion 6. The Revolutionary Godfather 7. The World Statesman 8. Straightening the Rudder 9. A Special Period 10. Autumn of the Revolutionary Patriarch Epilogue show more. About Sebastian Balfour. Sebastian Balfour is Emeritus Professor of Government, Department of Government and Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science.

The story of Fidel Castro has few parallels in contemporary history. None of the outstanding Third World leaders of the twentieth-century played such a prominent and restless part on the international stage and none survived as head of state for as long

The story of Fidel Castro has few parallels in contemporary history. None of the outstanding Third World leaders of the twentieth-century played such a prominent and restless part on the international stage and none survived as head of state for as long. Over almost 50 years, he was one of the most controversial political figures in the world, and his legacy has yet to be fully evaluated. Some of his most cherished plans were realized and are a model for many Third World countries.

View the profiles of people named Sebastian Balfour. People named Sebastian Balfour.

In keeping with the series "Profiles in Power" of which it is a part, this book is more an assessment of Castro's political ideas and sources of power than a biography, though personal details are included to the extent that they sustain the narrative and illuminate the subject. Within a chronological framework, the book sets out to examine the historical context in which Castro emerged as a national and international statesman and the ideological base on which the new Cuban state was founded. It attempts to analyze the changing structure of power in post-revolutionary Cuba and stresses the Cuban and Third World dimension of Castroism. It argues that Castro's popular appeal rests on identification with a century-old struggle for national regeneration and discusses the problem of Castro's succession against the background of economic crisis, internal corruption, and the effects of perestroika. The primary sources used in its preparation were mainly the words of Castro himself, of which there is no shortage, as well as letters and documents published in Cuba and elsewhere.
Comments: (4)
Jum
Balfour's book is very good at charting the political waters through which Castro had to navigate. He understands the complex nature of the pre- and post- revolutionary political structure in Cuba, and the way Cuban history has been determinined (to some degree) by American and Russian policies. If this is what you're after, this book is for you. If you want to understand the psychology of Castro, or elements of his private life ("what makes Fidel tick?"), there are glimpses here and there, but that's not the kind of book this is.
The Sinners from Mitar
A decent book, good content. I had to read this for a College level course and found it pretty interesting. I would even recommend for light reading.
Danskyleyn
The author describes how the U.S. had an agreement with its puppet governments in Cuba until 1959 to purchase annually half of Cuba's sugar produce. He shows how this quota could be lowered or threatened to be lowered if Cuba for instance, built flower mills that would compete with U.S. flour exports to the island or if the amount and quality of the rest of its sugar, that which it did not sell to the U.S. under the quota, competed with U.S. growers. The 1934 "reciprocal trade agreement" allowed U.S. exports to flood the island.
The U.S. backed dictatorship of Gerardo Machado was overthrown in 1933 and Fulgencio Bautista emerged to crush the movements of workers who had overthrown Machado, while at the same time instituting through his subsequent puppet governments slight social reforms. The communist party declared Bautista to be a swell democrat and several communists assumed cabinet positions once he took direct control of the government himself in 1940. Bautista governed mainly by dispersing state funds to journalists, businessmen and others to win their favor. Castro entered Havana University in 1945 in the midst of a much worse political climate. The government of Ramon Grau San Martin, bribed remnant groups from the 1933 uprising to take over many government functions and serve as death squads against the regime's opponents. Castro entered the University of Havana in 1945 and developed a political philosophy heavily influenced by the social reform and anti-imperialism of Cuba's independence leader Jose Marti. He apparently read Marx but wasn't much interested in it, contrary to his own assertions after he became dependent on the Soviet Union that he had always been a commie.
The author gives an excellent analysis of Castro's economic policies once in power. He writes that the U.S. campaign of terror and sabotage and hostility to Cuba's economic nationalism made Castro's turn to the Soviet Union inevitable. He observes subtly that the United States had decided to fund paramilitary activities against Castro in March 1959 when the anti-Bautista liberals that it favored where still, formally at least, in control of the government.
The initial policy of Castro and Che Guevara until 1963 or so was providing basic necessities for the population while working them hard to produce initial industrialization and then use the wealth from the latter for further economic expansion and further social benefits. Agriculture was neglected in this process and the resources necessary for the industrialization drive were severely lacking. Soviet advisors then compelled a program where the workplaces would be governed by capitalist notions of material incentives for workers, from and to each according to his ability, etc. The indigenous communists were greatly irritated by the chaotic, one-man direction of the economy, which Castro engaged in. In March 1962, Castro attacked a faction of the communists led by Anibal Escalante for undermining the Cuban revolution and putting their friends and relatives in positions of power. He quietly asked the Soviet Union to replace its ambassador whom he claimed had been involved in this affair. In 1966, as the economy seemed to be going downhill again, Castro began to push for a decrease in the material incentives for workers and instituted "voluntary" i.e. more or less required overtime work. The Soviets were disturbed by this and particularly Cuba's insistence on supporting guerilla groups in Latin America that would help Cuba break out of its regional isolation when the Soviets were calling for a non-violent "united front" approach. Castro boycotted the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Bolshevik revolution in Moscow in October 1967. The Soviet Union began dramatically reducing its aid to Cuba. In 1968, there were show trials against "micro factionalists," pro-soviet communists accused of various crimes. But with increasing discontent with the austere conditions and voluntary work, if the enthusiasm for Castro himself remained high, Fidel decided to return to Russia's guidance, particularly after the disasterous sugar campaign of 1969-70. In 1968, he had declared the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia as a violation of sovereignty but a necessary evil for he saw Czechoslovakia leaning towards Capitalist restoration and he believed this would empower the U.S., which was seeking capitalist restoration in Cuba.
Cuba began to develop under the chairmanship of Soviet advisors and Cuban officials with economic plans based on layers of delegated authority in industries. The 1976 constitution enshrined the "People's Power." The People's Power are the legislative branches at all levels of govt. in Cuba. At the local level, the People's Power functions as a form of direct democracy, greatly engaging the masses(within fairly wide but strict paramters set by the party of course).
Cuba's revolution brought great gains to the standard of living of Cuban masses. Before the revolution, Cuba's per capita income had been falling dramatically. The average wage of the agricultural labor, marked by chronic underemployment and unemployment was $80 dollars per month compared to $120 a month for factory workers. But thirty years after the revolution, the life expectancy had risen from 57 to 74. Infant mortality rate had fallen from 60 per thousand live births in 1958 to 13.3 per thousand in 1989 (It's like 7 per 1000 now). There were 400 doctors available per person in compared to 5000 per one in 1958. There was none of the widespread disease and misery that afflicts capitalist third world countries with the best economic growth statistics. But with the collapse of the Soviet block and the loss of most of its imports and exports and the tightening of the U.S. embargo Cuba found itself in a dire situation. In the late 80's a campaign of "rectification" against corruption in the economy, material incentives for workers were scaled back and extensive criticism of Castro and other officials was tolerated so long as they did not question the legitimacy of regime's basic institutions.
He also gives some discussion of Cuba's involvement in foreign affairs such as in Ethiopia-Somalia. Cuba entered Angola in late 1975 to help block the South African backed UNITA from taking over the country from the MPLA. UNITA and its allies, he observes, had launched military warfare an early 1975, breaking an agreement brokered between the guerilla groups to hold an elections
Celore
good book and easy to read.