Based on unprecedented access to both Cuban and American officials, a book that offers fresh insight into one of history's most enigmatic relationships between nation-states—from one of America's best-known voices of political and social activism.
Listen, Yankee! offers an account of Cuban politics from Tom Hayden's unique position as an observer of Cuba and as a US revolutionary student leader whose efforts to mobilize political change in the US mirrored the radical transformation simultaneously going on in Cuba.
Chapters are devoted to the writings of Che Guevara, Régis Debray, and C. Wright Mills; the Cuban missile crisis; the Weather Underground; the assassination of JFK; the strong historical links between Cuba and Africa; the Carter era; the Clinton era; the Cuban Five; Elián González; and the December 17, 2014 declaration of normalization by presidents Obama and Castro.
Hayden puts the present moment into historical context, and shows how we're finally finding common ground to the advantage of Cubans and Americans alike.
Castro is man about whom it’s impossible to be objective. There’s no denying that the Times obituary, for instance, is measured and thoughtful, and yet a cold eye can detect The Gray Lady tipping her hand at times. Why, one might, ask are the acts of torture perpetrated by the Batista regime mentioned only as an aside, and as reported speech ("[Castro] complained that the United States had raised not a whimper when Mr. Batista had tortured and executed thousands of opponents.”) and not as an historical fact that precipitated insurrection? Castro’s victory in ’59 was the end result of activity against colonial oppression that had been fomenting in Cuba for close to a century. And yet from the Times obit one might gather that the revolution in Cuba was nothing more than the escapade of a group of determined young rabble-rousers.
It remains to be seen whether history will indeed absolve Fidel. But what we can do now is to read through diverse sources on the subject of Castro’s regime—not just media published by corporations that stand to gain smearing any anti-capitalist resistance.
Seven Stories has published three great texts on Castro and Cuba: Néstor Kohan and Nahuel Scherma’s Fidel, an impassioned, illustrated biography of the titular leader; the Spanish edition of Fidel from our Siete Cuentos imprint, and Tom Hayden’s Listen, Yankee!, a detailed analysis of U.S.-Cuban relations that predicted this year’s détente. We hope you’ll take a look.
Below for your enjoyment are three pages from Fidel which take on underreported elements of Castro’s life and work: