Sara Wheeler

Conquistadors & Cubaneros

Havana: A Subtropical Dilemma


Bloomsbury 259pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Biographical portraits of cities are in vogue. This lively addition to the genre is essentially a history, beginning with Columbus and the incursions of French pirates and ending with the fortunes of the Industriales, Cuba’s most popular baseball team. A former Latin America correspondent, Mark Kurlansky visited the island regularly in the 1980s and 1990s. At the start of that period, he met Cubans who had known their African-born grandparents: ‘Slavery lasted longer in Cuba than anywhere else in the Americas,’ writes Kurlansky.

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