Cuban Revolution in America

Havana and the Making of a United States Left, 1968–1992

By Teishan A. Latner

368 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 22 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3546-0
    Published: February 2018
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3547-7
    Published: January 2018

Justice, Power, and Politics

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Cuba’s grassroots revolution prevailed on America's doorstep in 1959, fueling intense interest within the multiracial American Left even as it provoked a backlash from the U.S. political establishment. In this groundbreaking book, historian Teishan A. Latner contends that in the era of decolonization, the Vietnam War, and Black Power, socialist Cuba claimed center stage for a generation of Americans who looked to the insurgent Third World for inspiration and political theory. As Americans studied the island’s achievements in education, health care, and economic redistribution, Cubans in turn looked to U.S. leftists as collaborators in the global battle against inequality and allies in the nation’s Cold War struggle with Washington. By forging ties with organizations such as the Venceremos Brigade, the Black Panther Party, and the Cuban American students of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, and by providing political asylum to activists such as Assata Shakur, Cuba became a durable global influence on the U.S. Left.

Drawing from extensive archival and oral history research and declassified FBI and CIA documents, this is the first multidecade examination of the encounter between the Cuban Revolution and the U.S. Left after 1959. By analyzing Cuba’s multifaceted impact on American radicalism, Latner contributes to a growing body of scholarship that has globalized the study of U.S. social justice movements.

About the Author

Teishan A. Latner is assistant professor of history at Thomas Jefferson University.
For more information about Teishan A. Latner, visit the Author Page.


“Teishan Latner's fascinating Cuban Revolution in America, with its focus on histories of travel, hijacking, and exile across Cold War barriers, is an important intellectual weapon against both the [travel] ban and the blockade.”--Labour/Le Travail

“An impressive, compelling work of research and analysis . . . an unusually deep and nuanced study.”--H-Net Reviews

“An outstanding piece of scholarship that merits a book prize.”--Journal of American History

Cuban Revolution in America is a compelling synthesis of the symbiotic relationships between the sectors of the North American Left and the personalities and politics of the Cuban Revolution. For scholars of the American Left and of the critical years of the 1960s and 1970s, this study fills a long-existing lacuna in the historiography of U.S. radicalism. For scholars of Cuba, it offers new insight into the reach of the impact of the Cuban Revolution beyond the customary treatment of Cuba vis-a-vis the Third World.”—Louis A. Perez Jr., Institute for the Study of the Americas

"Latner provides a unique vantage on how Cuban internationalism shaped the desires and visions of a generation of revolutionaries in the U.S. From activist brigades to hijackers and political exilees, the book offers an absorbing account of the place of Cuba in the U.S. radical imaginary."--Sujatha Fernandes, author of Cuba Represent!

“Latner’s account of a critical aspect of Cuban-American relations and of the history of the American Left is a remarkable scholarly achievement. Scholars of the international Left will read this book with great interest. At the same time, I would expect that this well-written and compelling book would find an audience with the thousands of activists who participated in the Venceremos Brigade and related pro-Cuban projects. Latner has written an engaging, pathbreaking work of international history.”--David Farber, author of The Age of Great Dreams