Using gender analysis and focusing on previously unexamined testimonies of women rebels, political scientist Lorraine Bayard de Volo shatters the prevailing masculine narrative of the Cuban Revolution. Contrary to the Cuban War story's mythology of an insurrection single-handedly won by bearded guerrillas, Bayard de Volo shows that revolutions are not won and lost only by bullets and battlefield heroics. Focusing on women's multiple forms of participation in the insurrection, especially those that occurred off the battlefield, such as smuggling messages, hiding weapons, and distributing propaganda, Bayard de Volo explores how gender - both masculinity and femininity - were deployed as tactics in the important though largely unexamined battle for the 'hearts and minds' of the Cuban people. Drawing on extensive, rarely-examined archives including interviews and oral histories, this author offers an entirely new interpretation of one of the Cold War's most significant events.
Karen Kampwirth - Knox College, Illinois
Cynthia Enloe - author of The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy
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