ac know ledg ments
Conducting research and writing a book can be isolating endeavors. But what
immediately comes to mind when I think about the pro cess are the good con-
versations, good ideas, and good laughs shared with friends and colleagues.
Th anking all of them as I wrap up this project has an unfortunate air of fi nal-
ity about it, so I acknowledge their support with the proviso that they aren’t
off the hook just yet.
Dedicated and inspiring teachers guided me on the journey that led to this
book. It emerged from my doctoral dissertation, so fi rst and foremost I heartily
thank my advisor, Louis A. Pérez, Jr., for his encouragement, advice, and above
all for his patience. Perhaps as no one else can, he taught me a great deal about
Cuba and, just as important, he taught me about the act of writing and about
the ethical responsibilities of belonging to an intellectual community that
spans the U.S.- Cuba divide. I also thank the other members of my dissertation
committee— Kathryn Burns, John French, John Chasteen, and Jerma Jackson—
whose gift s as writers, teachers, and people continue to serve as examples. Leon
Fink and Judith Bennett also provided wisdom and perspective along the way.
I became hooked on Latin American history during my fi rst semester in college,
and I am grateful to Franklin Knight, Alida Metcalf, Linda Salvucci, Richard
Salvucci, and Aline Helg for sparking my curiosity and monitoring my wobbly
fi rst steps as a historian.
Over many years, the Instituto de Historia de Cuba in Havana has supported
my research in countless ways. Along with the Unión de Escritores y Artistas de
Cuba (uneac), it has sponsored research visas, facilitated access to archives and
libraries, and included me in its conferences and seminars. I thank Belkis Que-
sada y Guerra and Amparo Hernández for their strenuous eff orts to make all
of this happen. I also thank the instituto for the opportunities to become ac-
quainted with Cuban scholars who have made room for me next to them in
the archives; fi elded my oddball questions; and shared thoughts, writing, and
suggestions. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Carmen Almodóvar, Manuel
Barcia Paz, Barbara Danzie León, Yolanda Díaz Martínez, Mitzi Espinosa Luis,