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Title: Cuba in the American mind
Author: Oatham, J. L.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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The focus of this thesis is America's reaction to the Cuban Revolution of 1959. It is argued that this took the form of a creative construction of an image of Cuba in the American mind. Using original sources it contextualises images of and attitudes towards the island in a number of historical settings. Taking the Newtonian metaphor of an apple falling to the ground. Americans during the nineteenth century saw Cuba as a subject to the pull of political gravitation. During the Spanish American War the spectre of the Cuban independence necessitated a new image: the island became an errant child. This image held until the 1959 Revolution. In the early years of the 1960s American policy makers constructed a new image. After discussing this, the thesis moves on to consider other responses to the Revolution through examining its impact on writers such as Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The adoption of the Revolution by student radicals and advocates of black power is then explored. In spite of such commentator's suggestions that Cuba offered alternatives to contemporary American culture, by the close of the decade the dominant interpretation of the Cuban Revolution was fixed within a Cold War paradigm. The thesis concludes that this Cold War image has remained intact. Today America understands Cuba to be an island subject to a revolution betrayed, held within the grip of a communist and hence inherently evil regime. No accommodation is possible whilst Fidel Castro lives. The American image of Cuba remains frozen in the assumptions of the 1960s.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available