The Cubans: Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Times by Anthony DePalma


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Famed for its equality and good health, sunshine and beauty, many celebrate Cuba, one of the world’s five remaining Communist countries, for bravely holding out against the rampant capitalism of the West. But after six decades of socialist state control, the Cubans themselves now tell a different story. Still the government decides what work you can do and where you live. Food is rationed, milk and eggs are often scarce, and basic medicines unavailable. Buildings collapse and rubbish goes uncollected. In this pioneering work of life-writing and reportage, Anthony DePalma reconstructs the interwoven stories of five ordinary citizens and their families – some whose loyalty to the system led to great personal reward but ultimately disillusionment, others turned against it by tragedy – to lay their complex reality bare.