David SartoriusFeb 22, 2016
Race, Loyalty, and the Ends of Empire in Spanish Cuba
Duke University Press 2014
David Sartorius's recent book Ever Faithful: Race, Loyalty, and the Ends of Empire in Spanish Cuba (Duke University Press, 2014), examines Cuban society in the nineteenth century, and the islanders' proclamations of loyalty to the colony and to Spain. He challenges the notion that Cubans grew increasingly independent minded as events transpired during that century. Instead, he shows that both free and enslaved, white and nonwhite, men and women, all regularly made claims of loyalty to the imperial regime throughout the period. Although these declarations could be self-serving, they were also part of a rhetoric of loyalty at the heart of Cuban culture. This goes some way in explaining Cuba's late independence in Latin America, but more importantly it provides a more complicated picture of everyday individuals' political alignments in the Caribbean. Ever Faithful is part of an open-access pilot project, and can be downloaded for free at the Duke University Press website.