The book begins by challenging the “official” history of women within the revolution, which casts women as passive beneficiaries of a top-down liberation led by an enlightened leadership. The book argues instead that women themselves—especially women on the political left—first raised the “woman question” in 1959. Using oral histories, clandestine periodicals, and U.S. State Department documents, the book recovers forgotten episodes of women’s activism in the insurrection against Fulgencio Batista and in the tumultuous first few years of the revolution in power. It uses women’s participation to rethink standard assumptions about the Cuban Revolution, shedding new light on the urban anti-Batista resistance movement, popular participation in the revolutionary moment, and the gendered effects of revolutionary transformations.
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