The inevitable question has been haunting me: Why pick up another book about Che Guevara? It now joins with other urgent questions: What did the left do or not do to bring us to the current dark juncture? Could Cuba’s revolution have developed differently, and what would that have meant for world history? What vision does Che still have to offer?
While there is no specific section on Cuba’s involvement with the Grenada revolution, details of this appear as a recurring theme in the book “The Grenada Revolution in the Caribbean Present: Operation Urgent Memory”.
For some of us, the mention of the Caribbean island country of Grenada brings a vague visceral feeling of discomfort, like a tragic accident in the family never again discussed.
“This is the story of how Che haunts me,” states Margaret Randall at the outset of her new book, aptly termed “a poet’s reminiscence of an era.”. “His memory draws me to revisit his life, ponder the attraction he exerts long past death and read anew his writings and what others continue to write about him.”
The book highlights “the progress Cuban women have made towards gender equality since the 1950s and examines whether that progress can be sustained into the future.” It accomplishes its goal in five, concise, non-judgmental and well-documented chapters, enriched by personal profiles of some remarkably perceptive Cuban women.
I approach “Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment” with two vital questions: 1) Is this book accessible and helpful to those without an academic background, and 2) can we trust Samuel Farber, the author, to be our guide and teacher in this endeavor to understand Cuba’s past and present?