William Craig on Memoir of Travel in Cuba's Most Entrancing Region, Searching for America's Lost History
In 1898, the United States set off on a crusade to avenge a spectacular act of terrorism and help an oppressed people win freedom. Americans rejoiced at swift victories – only to find that the real war had just begun. Promoted as a selfless quest, the crusade for “Cuba libre!” became an imperialist land-grab, degenerating into counterinsurgency, profiteering, torture scandals and massacres. The embarrassing war was willfully forgotten – along with its warning about the consequences of acting imperially.
The great-grandson of a Spanish-American War veteran, journalist William Craig explores the battlefields and back roads of Cuba's Oriente Province, home to Cuba's greatest spiritual, musical and revolutionary traditions. America’s past and present influence is visible everywhere in Oriente, from Guantánamo, where Red Badge of Courage author Stephen Crane received his baptism of fire, to the hill that Teddy Roosevelt charged “all the way to the White House.” Following the road that took America from isolationist republic to overseas empire, Craig discovers that to make sense of post-9/11 America, we need to understand 1898.
This is the first book to offer a historic travelogue of Cuba's most beautiful and tragic landscape, a region where the United States began the “American century” of global dominance. Combining contemporary travel adventure with historic context, Yankee Come Home is a “reader-friendly” introduction to the Spanish-American War and U.S.-Cuban history, welcoming general readers, armchair travelers, history buffs, concerned citizens and fans of all things Cuban.
Though Yankee Come Home is unique, Cuba is a perennial topic of broad interest. Fine recent books on the subject of Cuba's and America's intertwined history include Tom Gjelten's Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba and Daniel P. Erikson's The Cuba Wars. No Cuba book will compete with Yankee Come Home; rather, the more interest there is in Guantánamo, the endgame of the Castro regime, Cuba and the origins of U.S. foreign policy, the wider the readership for Yankee Come Home.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.