Academic journal article The George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics

Uneasy Neighbors: Cuba and the United States

Academic journal article The George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics

Uneasy Neighbors: Cuba and the United States

Article excerpt

Uneasy Neighbors: Cuba and the United States, by Rhoda Hoff & Margaret Regler. New York: Franklin Watts, 1997. Pp. 185. $22.00 (hardcover) .

Uneasy Neighbors: Cuba and the United States chronicles events in Cuban history through primary source materials from Columbus to Castro. Hoff and Regler acknowledge in the introduction that the collection is not exhaustive and does not reflect the entire complicated path of the tiny island nation. What the authors aim to present is a collection of documentary "snapshots" plotting the course of Cuban-American relations over the past 500 years; they dub this collection "examples of history with a small h."

Each primary source is preceded by a short synopsis of relevant facts and context. From that point the document speaks for itself, revealing the original author's own impressions. The end result is a unique presentation of forty-one viewpoints. As such, the picture of Cuban-American relations over the course of time emerges in the reader's own mind rather than as a scholarly dissertation. However, Hoff and Regler are far from silent in this book. Their personal opinions and slant on the relationship Cuba and the United States have forged comes through in the choice of documents presented, as well as in the way the documents are presented.

Beginning with an excerpt from Columbus's diary on his revolutionary journey to the New World, Hoff and Regler establish Cuba as an entity equal to America-in time if not in stature. From there the documents skip to the early nineteenth century where they reveal not only Cuba's tropical beauty but also its wealth of natural resources and ideal placement as a strategic military outpost. …

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