Ada Ferrer

Cindy Seip

Born in Cuba and raised in the United States, historian Ada Ferrer is the author of Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868–1898, and Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution. In Cuba: An American History (Scribner), Ferrer offers an epic, sweeping history of Cuba and its complex ties to the United States – from before Columbus’ arrival to the present day. For more than half a century, since severing diplomatic relations in 1961, the standoff between Cuba and the U.S. has sparked contentious debate and outlasted 10 American presidents, the passing of Fidel Castro in 2016, and the recent retirement of his brother and successor, Raúl Castro, in 2021. The book traces the evolution of the island nation, its conquest and colonization, slavery and freedom, and independence and revolutions made and unmade. Along the way, Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising, often troubled intimacy between the two countries – documenting not only the influence of the U.S. on Cuba, but also the many ways the island has been a recurring presence in U.S. affairs. Booklist noted that in her work, “Ferrer delves into deep background that students of contemporary history may have never before encountered.”