Raíces Cubanas is the 11th book on Cuban history by Raúl Eduardo Chao. It is a masterly condensation of his three previous books, Colonial Cuba, Republican Cuba and Exiled Cuba. Chao obtained his PhD from Johns Hopkins University at an early age and spent 18 years as Department Chairman of Chemical Engineering at the Universities of Puerto Rico and Detroit. In recent years he has devoted most of his time exploring and presenting the drama of Cuban history.
Raíces Cubanas is profusely illustrated with more than 800 images, some of them seen there for the first time. It covers the history of Cuba from the encounter with Colón and the European civilization in 1492 to the end of the republic in 1958. The book is an easy read yet presents a precise account of the pioneering and at times turbulent history of the island of Cuba. It covers the life of its indigenous population, the turmoil created by numerous assaults by corsairs and pirates and the transformation of the island into Spain's most valuable and longer lasting possession. As Cuba became closer to the United States through commerce and political expectations, Spain tried in vain to retain its hold of the island in spite of numerous uprisings. The fifty years of independence after the Hispano-Cuban-American War of 1898 are well documented graphically and descriptively. Several important documents, seldom available to the general reader, are fully presented in the Appendices.
Raíces Cubanas is both a primer and a rigorous historical narrative of 450 years in the life of Cuba.