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I was worried when I saw the title of this book. Was it a history of publishing? Or a history of Arif Ali? And does ‘tribute’ mean when it was published by the object of the accolade? An autobiography?
Following an initial irritation, I found myself warming to this book. At first sight, it seems to uncritically support the Cuban Revolution. However, as one progresses the tone becomes much more nuanced. There emerges a basic sympathy for the aims and objects of the revolution, clearly announced in the introduction, without hiding areas where Cuba has not lived up to these expectations.
The proliferation of computer databases and the digitization of sources online are transforming the profession. Scholars can now do substantial original research without needing to travel to distant archives. Massive collections of documents are at our fingertips. Online databases are encouraging the democratization of historical research.
This is an important volume that hopefully will disseminate new ideas and stimulate new research outside and beyond the communities of Enlightenment and Atlantic historians that have contributed to it. The Southern Atlantic has been the site of some of the most interesting recent work in Atlantic history.
The growth of academic interest in the ‘Iberian Atlantic World’ during the last decade has also witnessed the expansion of scholarship on the presence of, and role played in it by, Judeoconversos (or ‘New Christians’): the descendants of Jews who were converted (often by force) to Christianity in the 14th and 15th centuries.
This year (2010), the world has seen a number of big earthquake disasters, like those that hit Haiti in January and Chile a month later. Disasters strike when least expected, and the death and destruction that follows represents critical tests of the ability of cities and nations to handle crises and to rebuild.
Exporting Japan examines the domestic politics and foreign policy concerns shaping Japanese expansion into Latin America through immigration and settlement in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Given the division of opinion over the nature of Cuban Revolution, it has always been hard to find a general work on the subject that does not merely tell half the story. However, Toni Kapcia has now provided us with a book which, while comprehensible to a general audience or a useful introduction for students, will nevertheless provide insights for the more specialist reader.
‘Look into his eyes: could you ever say “no” to a man like that?’ We were standing before a portrait of Emiliano Zapata; the woman who would have found it hard to say ‘no’ was a young, middle-class professional from Mexico City who had generously taken up the task of introducing her nation’s language and history to me.
On the occasion of his famous address commemorating the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies, delivered in Concord on August 1, 1844, Ralph Waldo Emerson highlighted America’s avoidance of slavery’s implications.