Key to the New World : A History of Early Colonial Cuba, Hardback Book

Key to the New World : A History of Early Colonial Cuba Hardback


Scholarly and popular attention tends to focus heavily on Cuba's recent history: its notoriety as the world's largest exporter of sugar and the Western hemisphere's first socialist nation.

Key to the New World fills the gap in our knowledge of the island before 1700, examining Cuba's formative centuries in depth. Luis Martinez-Fernandez presents a holistic portrait of the island nation, interrelating its geography, economy, society, politics, and culture.

He weaves these threads into a narrative that begins with the first arrival of indigenous people 7,000 years ago.

He explores the conquest and establishment of colonial rule and how the island's geographic uniqueness made it an ideal launching pad for Spanish conquests into Central America, Mexico, and Florida.

While considering the role of Cuba and the Caribbean as a theater for European power struggles, Martinez-Fernandez also focuses intimately on the people who both influenced and were influenced by these larger, impersonal forces. In these often-overlooked centuries, Martinez-Fernandez finds the roots of many of Cuba's enduring economic, political, social, and cultural complexities.

The result is a sweeping history, a seminal text that makes clear that to fully grasp revolutionary or contemporary Cuba we must first understand what came before.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of the Americas
  • ISBN: 9781683400325



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