Sunday, July 3, 2016

Revolutions: Not Just for the USA (SOAPBOX PODCAST 7/3/16)

July 3, 2016

Guest: Deena Stryker
Topic: Cuba: Diary of a Revolution

One American’s On-the-Ground Account of the Cuban Revolution Comes to Light in Cuba: Diary of a Revolution

In 1963 Deena Stryker was an intrepid young American reporter working for a French weekly when she traveled to Cuba determined to capture the day-to-day realties of a society in the process of radically remaking itself.

Married to a Frenchman, Stryker’s French citizenship gave her an entré into a post-revolutionary Cuba that Americans were generally denied.  Her interview subjects include those who would attain iconic stature, such as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and other members of “the Twelve” (the revolutionary government) and those who played a less publicized, but no less pivotal revolutionary role, including Celia Sanchez and Vilma Espin. She also talks to ordinary Cubans who are trying to navigate a new path that is anything but certain.

Traveling at times with Alberto Korda, the photographer who shot the image of Che that would be reproduced countless times on everything from t-shirts to key chains across the world, Stryker brings to life the literal and emotional landscape of a country remaking its institutions, reshaping its self-image, and forever changing geopolitics. 

 The result is CUBA: A DIARY OF THE REVOLUTION (July 2016, hardcover, Next Revelation Press). While the book is being published fifty years after Sryker’s journey, its insights are still fresh and the tensions, hopes, and fears it lays bare are still alive today. Packed with photographs, CUBA is at once an unforgettable travelogue of a revolution and an invaluable historical record.

Philadelphian Deena Stryker studied in Paris, became a French citizen by marriage. She begin her career at Agence France Presse (AFP), then travelled to Cuba uninvited and unaffiliated, interviewing Fidel Castro for a major French weekly. She would meet with Fidel again a week after the Kennedy assassination and several times in 1964, along with all the members of the Cuban government to get their personal stories, while chronicling the salient events of that year. Deena is a senior editor at and a contributor to New Eastern Outlook.


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