Inside El Barrio: A Bottom-up View of Neighborhood Life in Castro's Cuba

Inside El Barrio: A Bottom-up View of Neighborhood Life in Castro's Cuba


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This book offers a revealing portrait of daily life in Cuba that explores how the socialist system has operated on the ground over the last two decades. It shows how social networks and neighborhoods were critical in sustaining Fidel's regime while other socialist countries were collapsing in the late 80s. The abrupt collapse of the Soviet Union and the East European Communist Bloc in 1989 plunged Cuba into a catastrophic economic crisis that spawned unprecedented hardship, magnified social tensions, and emigration in the thousands. In July 1990, a somber Fidel Castro called upon the masses to prepare for a sustained period of hard times. ""Inside El Barrio"" charts the legacy of Fidel Castro through the unique lens of Cuban household life during El Periodo Especial (the Special Period). Taylor traverses the neighborhoods and residential developments of Havana between 1989 and 2006, the final and most complex period in the 'Age of Castro's Cuba' to uncover the hidden vibrancy of Cuba's streets and citizens. In doing so, he acquires a deeper understanding of Cuban society by exploring what it means to live in a people-centered nation and the importance of neighborhoods in shaping everyday life and culture.

About Author

Henry Louis Taylor is a full professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Coordinator of the Community Development and Urban Management Specialization, and Founding Director of the University at Buffalo Center for Urban Studies (CENTER), a research, neighborhood planning and community developing institute, which focuses on developing distressed urban communities. Taylor is the editor of three books and a monograph and has written more than 80 articles, book reviews, commentaries, and technical reports on urban and regional planning. He has appeared on ABC's Nightline and has been quoted in numerous national publications, including The New York Times, USA Today, and Time magazine. He has received numerous awards for his research and neighborhood planning, and in 2005 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Professional Planner Award from the American Planning Association, New York Upstate Chapter.


1) The Unfinished Revolution: Ideological Dualism and Establishing Ties of Singular Intimacy; 2) This Time the Revolution is for Real; 3) Inside El Barrio; 4) Using Capitalism to Save Socialism: Making Ends Meet during the Special Period; 5) The San Isidro Neighborhood: A Case Study.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781565492813
  • Format: Paperback
  • ID: 9781565492813
  • ISBN10: 1565492811

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