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Beyond the Book

320 pp., 6.125 x 9.125, appends., notes, bibl., index

Envisioning Cuba

ISBN  978-0-8078-3519-7
Published: March 2012

ISBN  978-1-4696-1891-3
Available: August 2014

Sexual Revolutions in Cuba

Passion, Politics, and Memory

By Carrie Hamilton

Foreword by Elizabeth Dore

In Sexual Revolutions in Cuba Carrie Hamilton delves into the relationship between passion and politics in revolutionary Cuba to present a comprehensive history of sexuality on the island from the triumph of the Revolution in 1959 into the twenty-first century. Drawing on an unused body of oral history interviews as well as press accounts, literary works, and other published sources, Hamilton pushes beyond official government rhetoric and explores how the wider changes initiated by the Revolution have affected the sexual lives of Cuban citizens. She foregrounds the memories and emotions of ordinary Cubans and compares these experiences with changing policies and wider social, political, and economic developments to reveal the complex dynamic between sexual desire and repression in revolutionary Cuba.

Showing how revolutionary and prerevolutionary values coexist in a potent and sometimes contradictory mix, Hamilton addresses changing patterns in heterosexual relations, competing views of masculinity and femininity, same-sex relationships and homophobia, AIDS, sexual violence, interracial relationships, and sexual tourism. Hamilton's examination of sexual experiences across generations and social groups demonstrates that sexual politics have been integral to the construction of a new revolutionary Cuban society.

About the Author

Carrie Hamilton is reader in history at the University of Roehampton, London.


“Hamilton delivers an incisive history of sexuality in Cuba.”
--Concordia University Magazine

“Hamilton has made an interesting contribution to this field, . . . providing a valuable history of sexuality on the Caribbean island since 1959.”
--Latin American Review of Books

--Women's Review of Books

"'Carrie Hamilton has written perhaps the most ground-breaking study of sexuality in Revolutionary Cuba. Many of its chapters should be required reading for anyone studying not just Cuba, but also the politics of sexuality in developing countries. This is a path-breaking book. It offers wonderful tips on how to combine oral histories with archival knowledge. It uses socio-anthropological evidence to document sexual and gender behaviours that both conform and defy existing theories."
--Javier Corrales, in the European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe

"Hamilton makes a wonderful contribution to the social science of the Caribbean and Cuba. With attention to sexuality, gender, race, and class, she clarifies what is romantic about socioeconomic and political change and explores the meaning of such passion across sexualities and political agendas. This book brings much to the table and will be valuable for all who are interested in Cuba, sexuality studies, and the Caribbean."
--A. Lynn Bolles, University of Maryland

"This book is a superb contribution to our understanding of sexuality in Cuba since 1959, a topic which is, regrettably, usually oversimplified and subject to misleading generalizations. Instead, Carrie Hamilton gives us here a study whose scope and ambition are matched by the subtlety with which she approaches the whole question, enabling her subjects to express revealingly all the complexities characterizing life in modern Cuba and, more importantly, the question of sexuality and revolution, thereby also enabling us to get inside the contradictions and nuances of the topic. It is oral history as it should be done, and we are all the wiser as a result."
--Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham

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