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Prologue to Revolution: Cuba, 1898-1958

Jorge Ibarra, translated by Marjorie Moore
ISBN: 978-1-55587-792-7
1998/232 pages/LC: 97-49324

"A clear, lucid, and compelling account of a complex society in the midst of social change."—Alejandra Bronfman, Left History


This landmark study traces economic development, social dynamics, and political processes in Cuba from the end of Spanish colonial rule to the triumph of the 1959 revolution.

Ibarra explores the complex and compelling relationship between North American capital investment and the formation—and deformation—of Cuba's national institutions. Focusing especially on class structures, gender roles, race relations, and political change, he brings to life the social and economic circumstances in which most Cubans lived before 1959. He also illuminates the multiple ways in which relations with the U.S. contributed to shaping the moral and material environment of daily life on the island.


Jorge Ibarra is one of Cuba's most distinguished social and cultural historians. This is the first of his many books to be translated into English.


  • Introduction—Louis A. Pérez, Jr.
  • Finance Capital and the Economic Structures of the Republic.
  • Social Formations in the Republic.
  • The Urban and Rural Middle Classes Dislocated.
  • Disintegration of the Independent Peasantry.
  • The Industrial Proletariat and the Urban Working Class.
  • The Rural Proletariat.
  • The Marginalization of Women.
  • Race and Social Stratification.
  • Generations in Conflict.
  • City vs. Countryside.
  • Social Change and Political Transformation.
Studies in Cuban History