The Myth of José Martí
Conflicting Nationalisms in Early Twentieth-Century Cuba
By Lillian Guerra
328 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 13 illus., I map, 1 table, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5590-4
Published: March 2005
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-7638-1
Published: March 2006
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Awards & distinctions
A 2006 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
As Guerra explains, some nationalists supported incorporating foreign investment and values, while others sought social change through the application of an authoritarian model of electoral politics; still others sought a democratic government with social and economic justice. But for all factions, the image of Martí became the principal means by which Cubans attacked, policed, and discredited one another to preserve their own vision over others'. Guerra's examination demonstrates how competing historical memories and battles for control of a weak state explain why polarity, rather than consensus on the idea of the "nation" and the character of the Cuban state, came to define Cuban politics throughout the twentieth century.
About the Author
Lillian Guerra is assistant professor of Caribbean history at Yale University. She is author of Popular Expression and National Identity in Puerto Rico: The Struggle for Self, Community, and Nation, 1898-1940 as well as two books of Spanish-language poetry.
For more information about Lillian Guerra, visit the Author Page.
"Provides many useful insights into the conflicting origins of Cuban nationalism and will be useful to those interested in concrete examples of the historical development of nationalist mythmaking."--Nations and Nationalism
"A valuable and accessibly written account that offers new insight into the variety of Cuban nationalisms at the beginning of the twentieth-century. . . . Sophisticated and nuanced. . . . A compulsively readable work of scholarship that keeps Martí in context as a historical man and a historical symbol, and that teaches us valuable lessons about the divided and violent trajectories of early twentieth-century Cuban nationalisms."--A Contracorriente
"Lillian Guerra’s superbly documented and written book . . . takes the reader on a breathtaking historical journey. . . . Indispensable reading."--Cuban Studies
"Guerra's book takes an innovative approach to examining Marti's role and impact on this critical period of Cuban history. . . . Insightful."--American Historical Review
"Guerra has produced a remarkable contribution to Cuban historiography in this extremely sophisticated exploration of the role of the mythologizing of José Martí after his early death in the Cuban war of independence. . . . Essential"--Choice
"Based on an impressive array of archival and printed sources, this superb study uncovers with subtlety and deep understanding how José Martí’s image and discourse of social unity came to embody conflicting visions of the Cuban nation shortly after his death in 1895--visions that still divide Cubans today."--Aline Helg, University of Geneva