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Revolution and Reaction in Cuba: 1933-1960

by Samuel Farber

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Revolution and Reaction in Cuba, 1933-1960 is an historical study of the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and at the same time an explanation of Castro's rise to power. Rather than an event-by-event description of this upheaval, the work is a careful consideration of the entire period from the Revolution of 1933 until early in 1960 when Cuba became openly and fully “Communist”.

Applying the techniques of the sociological method to his examination of historical facts, Farber places as much emphasis on Cuban society as on Cuban politics. He examines the development of political groups in terms of how they emerged from, or were expressions of, the Cuban class structure, emphasizing the impact of the events of the 1933 Revolution in forming attitudes and institutions important to the Revolution of 1959.

His conclusions deny the commonly accepted thesis that the Castro revolution was created by the revolt of a particular class. He categorizes it instead as Bonapartist in the Marxian sense of the word. That is, as having had a revolutionary leadership not directly responsive to any single class, but rather manipulative of all classes since none alone was strong enough to dominate.