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So Close to the Monster

Gilberto Perez: The Trouble with Being Cuban, 22 June 2000

On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality and Culture 
by Louis Pérez Jr..
North Carolina, 579 pp., £31.95, October 1999, 0 8078 2487 9
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... Cuba. The Capitol look-alike should have been on the cover of On Becoming Cuban by the historian Louis Pérez Jr. It is the thesis of this book that Cuban identity rests on identification with the United States. For Pérez, becoming Cuban means becoming like an American (he prefers to say ‘North American’, though ...

¿Vamos Bien?

Eric Hershberg: Cuba and America, 28 May 2009

Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos 
by Louis Pérez.
North Carolina, 333 pp., £32.95, August 2008, 978 0 8078 3216 5
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Cuba in Revolution: A History since the 1950s 
by Antoni Kapcia.
Reaktion, 208 pp., £15.95, September 2008, 978 1 86189 402 1
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... interest that Cuba be free,’ Bush said when he introduced the Powell commission’s report. As Louis Pérez notes, American politicians and pundits have been speaking this way since the 1830s. Cuba is a ‘neighbour’, but like any good neighbour it is expected to behave itself and tend its garden properly. Such remarks presuppose a population of ...

Cuba or the Base?

Piero Gleijeses: Guantánamo, 26 March 2009

Guantanamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution 
by Jana Lipman.
California, 325 pp., £17.95, December 2008, 978 0 520 25540 1
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... and proclaimed a provisional government under Ramón Grau San Martín. This, as the historian Louis Pérez has pointed out, was ‘the first government of the republic formed without North American sanction’. Not only did it threaten the immense privileges of American companies on the island, but on the day of his inauguration Grau abrogated the ...

Basismo

Anthony Pagden, 13 June 1991

The Cambridge History of Latin America. Vol. VII: 1930 to the Present 
edited by Leslie Bethell.
Cambridge, 775 pp., £70, October 1990, 0 521 24518 4
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Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America 
by John King.
Verso, 266 pp., £29.95, November 1990, 0 86091 295 7
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Democracy and Development in Latin America: Economics, Politics and Religion in the Post-war Period 
by David Lehmann.
Polity, 235 pp., £29.50, April 1990, 0 7456 0776 4
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... the whole of Central America was jointly owned by the United Fruit Company and the Grace Line. As Louis Pérez notes in the Cambridge History, the only enterprise that was wholly Cuban before Castro’s seizure of power was government. The same could be said for many Latin American states. The financial élites – the burguesia compradora ...

Cheerfully Chopping up the World

Michael Wood: Film theory, 2 July 1998

The Material Ghost: Films and Their Medium 
by Gilberto Perez.
Johns Hopkins, 466 pp., £25, April 1998, 0 8018 5673 6
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On the History of Film Style 
by David Bordwell.
Harvard, 322 pp., £39.95, February 1998, 0 674 63428 4
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Gilles Deleuze's Time Machine 
by D.N. Rodowick.
Duke, 260 pp., £46.95, October 1997, 0 8223 1962 4
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The Aesthetics and Psychology of the Cinema 
by Jean Mitry, translated by Christopher King.
Athlone, 405 pp., £45, February 1998, 0 485 30084 2
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Signs and Meaning in the Cinema 
by Peter Wollen.
BFI, 188 pp., £40, May 1998, 0 85170 646 0
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... his open optimism – easily slips into buffoonery – a kind of hidden pessimism’) and Louis Malle (‘whereas Godard is Godard and Truffaut is Truffaut, Malle is the Nouvelle Vague’), and Signs and Meaning itself still reads well, laying out Eisenstein’s sense of the cinema, along with the auteur theory, and a programme for the study of film ...

Diary

Robin Blackburn: In Haiti, 8 October 2009

... needed electric power stations (Aristide got on better with Chávez’s predecessor, Carlos Andres Pérez). He also seems to have good contacts among the Brazilians who still lead the occupation force. One of his advisers told me that he is currently negotiating with them to bring military training under Haitian control and to set a date for the recuperation ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: The State of Statuary, 20 September 2017

... James Fox unconcerned in a bath towel sits on his arse in Bloomsbury Square,’ was how Louis MacNeice put it in one of his last poems. His right leg is extended so that one sandalled foot edges over the pediment – my fingers fit easily into the grooves between his toes. Most days, passers-by stop to look at the statue. You can get a good view of ...

Bourgeois Nightmares

Gilberto Perez: Michael Haneke, 6 December 2012

... maybe for his new movie, Amour, which tells a story of old love. This time Georges and Anne (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) are retired music teachers in their eighties, and their love story has not only lasted through their long marriage but also has a happy ending of sorts. The film begins, however, with the police breaking down the door to ...

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