Skip to main content
US Macmillan Tradebooks for Courses

This Is Cuba

An American Journalist Under Castro's Shadow

David Ariosto

St. Martin's Press

This Is Cuba Download image

ISBN10: 1250176972
ISBN13: 9781250176974

Hardcover

304 Pages

$28.99

CA$37.99

Request Desk Copy
Request Exam Copy

TRADE BOOKS FOR COURSES NEWSLETTER

Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

This is Cuba is a true story that begins in the summer of 2009 when a young American photo-journalist is offered the chance of a lifetime—a two-year assignment in Havana.

For David Ariosto, the island is an intriguing new world, unmoored from the one he left behind. From neighboring military coups, suspected honey traps, salty spooks, and desperate migrants to dissidents, doctors, and Havana’s empty shelves, Ariosto uncovers the island’s subtle absurdities, its Cold War mystique, and the hopes of a people in the throes of transition. Beyond the classic cars, salsa, and cigars lies a country in which black markets are ubiquitous, free speech is restricted, privacy is curtailed, sanctions wreak havoc, and an almost Kafka-esque goo of Soviet-style bureaucracy still slows the gears of an economy desperate to move forward.

But life in Cuba is indeed changing, as satellite dishes and internet hotspots dot the landscape and more Americans want in. Still, it’s not so simple. The old sentries on both sides of the Florida Straits remain at their posts, fists clenched and guarding against the specter of a Cold War that never quite ended, despite the death of Fidel and the hand-over of the presidency to a man whose last name isn’t Castro.

And now, a crisis is brewing.

In This Is Cuba, Ariosto looks at Cuba from the inside-out over the course of nine years, endeavoring to expose clues for what’s in store for the island as it undergoes its biggest change in more than half a century.

Reviews

Praise for This Is Cuba

"Ariosto's work is at times chilling, but with a touch of nostalgia and humor . . . Cuba watchers should read this informative new work, as should all interested in a country that is geographically closer to the United States than some might realize."Library Journal (starred review)

"Refreshingly aware . . . Vividly . . . Ariosto brings modern Cuba to life, with all its complexities and eccentric charms."—Publishers Weekly

"Ariosto's insights are plentiful, and amid erratically evolving Cuba-U.S. relations, such personal perspectives, even from a yuma, provide the best portals to mutual understanding.”—Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

1


LAST CALL WITH CASTRO

I sipped an amber rum. Habana Club. Seven years. No ice. He palmed a Bucanero beer, half wrapped in a flimsy white paper napkin. Curls of Cohiba smoke wafted between us, giving the room a translucent look...

MEDIA

Watch

This Is Cuba By David Ariosto Book Trailer

Watch the trailer of This is Cuba by David Ariosto. This is Cuba is a true story that begins in the summer of 2009 when a young American photo-journalist is offered the chance of a lifetime—a two-year assignment in Havana. David Ariosto looks at Cuba from the inside-out over the course of nine years, endeavoring to expose clues for what’s in store for the island as it undergoes its biggest change in more than half a century.

About the author

David Ariosto

DAVID ARIOSTO is Executive Producer of GZERO media at the Eurasia Group. Previously, he has worked for Brut, CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera America, Reuters and National Geographic. Between 2009 and 2010, Ariosto was based in Havana, Cuba, working as a photojournalist for CNN. He continues to make reporting trips to the island several times each year. Ariosto also holds a Master’s of Public Policy degree from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s of History degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He lives in New York.

Paula Abreu Pita

David Ariosto

Official Links