Great book about the history of Havana?
July 15, 2017 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Just visited Havana for the first time and fell head over heels in love with the city. I want to read a great, rich, well-written book about the history of the city, and I feel confident that there's one out there based on what little I learned while I was there. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
posted by Bobby Bittman to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Havana Nocturne may be too specific--it's about the mob in Cuba in the 1940s and 1950s--but is fascinating.
posted by Violet Hour at 10:10 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]

Woah. That sounds fascinating. Thanks!
posted by Bobby Bittman at 10:12 PM on July 15

Yeah, Havana's one of my three favorite cities in the world. I don't know what that sun is, but it's not the same sun that shines on the rest of the world. The light is all wrong.

I have an entire shelf I'm sure you'd enjoy, but the book that best captures the feel of it for me is Pedro Juan Gutierrez's Dirty Havana Trilogy. Which is a novel, but, you know... a novel set very firmly in a very certain place, and that place is probably the book's most important character.

More on-the-nose from a historical perspective, Tom Gjelten's Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba is a really interesting history of the Cuban rum industry, which of course runs parallel to the country's entire tumultuous history, but only about a third of it is really related to Havana's development and growth.
posted by rokusan at 2:42 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]

Great answers, thank you.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 5:11 PM on July 16

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