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Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values Educating the New Socialist Citizen by Denise F. Blum

Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values Educating the New Socialist Citizen


Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values Educating the New Socialist Citizen by Denise F. Blum

Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Havana's secondary schools, Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values is a remarkable ethnography, charting the government's attempts to transform a future generation of citizens. While Cuba's high literacy rate is often lauded, the little-known dropout rates among teenagers receive less scrutiny. In vivid, succinct reporting, educational anthropologist Denise Blum now shares her findings regarding this overlooked aspect of the Castro legacy. Despite the fact that primary-school enrollment rates exceed those of the United States, the reverse is true for the crucial years between elementary school and college. After providing a history of Fidel Castro's educational revolution begun in 1953, Denise Blum delivers a close examination of the effects of the program, which was designed to produce a society motivated by benevolence rather than materialism. Exploring pioneering pedagogy, the notion of civic education, and the rural components of the program, Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values brims with surprising findings about one of the most intriguing social experiments in recent history.


Professor Blum has written a sound, balanced and informative book. It is well organized, comprehensive in the treatment of the new man ideology, and clearly written. It is jargon free, and the conclusions are reasonable and well grounded in either her observations or the literature... The book should be required reading for academics and others studying Cuba. Policy makers and journalists should also be readers if they want to gain more than a superficial understanding of Cuba, its educational history and developments. General readers will also find it is a valuable book for learning about Cuba... I recommend the book without reservation. Jerone Stephens, Bowling Green State University, writing for Reviews in History

About the Author

A former public school teacher, DENISE F. BLUM is an Assistant Professor in Social Foundations at Oklahoma State University.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th November 2011


Denise F. Blum

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University of Texas Press


286 pages


Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography



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