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To Cuba and Back   By: (1815-1882)

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To Cuba and Back by Richard Henry Dana is a remarkable travel memoir that provides readers with a vivid and compelling account of Dana's journey to Cuba and his adventures there. The book captures the essence of Cuba in the 1850s, painting a vivid picture of the island's landscapes, culture, and people.

Dana's narrative style is captivating, transporting readers back in time and allowing them to experience his journey alongside him. His attention to detail is astonishing, as he describes everything from the bustling streets of Havana to the tranquil countryside and picturesque coastal areas. Through his descriptions, readers can visualize the beauty of Cuba and truly feel immersed in the landscapes he encounters.

One of the most enticing aspects of To Cuba and Back is how Dana delves deep into the heart of Cuban society, providing readers with an understanding of the island's culture and history. He explores Cuba's complex social hierarchies, shedding light on the lives of both the wealthy plantation owners and the enslaved individuals who toiled in the fields. Dana's commentary is eye-opening and thought-provoking, offering readers a rare glimpse into a society on the brink of change.

Furthermore, Dana's encounters with the people he meets along his journey are equally fascinating. He forms relationships with Cubans from all walks of life, allowing readers to connect with the island's inhabitants on a personal level. His interactions with locals add depth to the narrative, humanizing the stories of ordinary people and highlighting the shared experiences that transcend borders and cultures.

In addition to its exploration of Cuban society, the book also explores the political climate of the time. Dana delves into the tensions between the United States and Cuba, shedding light on the intricate web of international relations and the growing unrest in the region. Through his experiences, readers gain insight into the politics and conflicts that defined Cuba during this turbulent period.

To Cuba and Back is not simply a travelogue; it is a captivating story that encompasses themes of exploration, adventure, social commentary, and political intrigue. Dana weaves together these elements seamlessly, resulting in a book that is both engaging and enlightening. It is a testament to his skill as a writer that even after all these years, readers can still find relevance and enjoyment in his words.

Overall, To Cuba and Back is an extraordinary piece of literature that offers readers a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era. Dana's storytelling abilities and keen observations make this memoir a must-read for history enthusiasts, travel aficionados, and anyone who enjoys a well-crafted narrative. Whether you have a penchant for adventure or are simply seeking a captivating tale, this book will undoubtedly transport you to the vibrant streets of Cuba and leave you yearning for more.

First Page:






I. From Manhattan to El Morro

II. Havana: First Glimpses (1)

III. Havana: First Glimpses (2)

IV. Havana: Prisoners and Priests

V. Havana: Olla Podrida

VI. Havana: A Social Sunday

VII. Havana: Belén and the Jesuits

VIII. Matanzas

IX. To Limonar by Train

X. A Sugar Plantation: The Labor

XI. A Sugar Plantation: The Life

XII. From Plantation to Plantation

XIII. Matanzas and Environs

XIV. Reflections via Railroad

XV. Havana: Social, Religious and Judicial Tidbits

XVI. Havana: Worship, Etiquette and Humanitarianism

XVII. Havana: Hospital and Prison

XVIII. Havana: Bullfight

XIX. Havana: More Manners and Customs

XX. Havana: Slaves, Lotteries, Cockfights and Filibusters

XXI. A Summing up: Society, Politics, Religion, Slavery, Resources and Reflections

XXII. Leave taking



The steamer is to sail at one P.M.; and, by half past twelve, her decks are full, and the mud and snow of the pier are well trodden by men and horses. Coaches drive down furiously, and nervous passengers put their heads out to see if the steamer is off before her time; and on the decks, and in the gangways, inexperienced passengers run against everybody, and mistake the engineer for the steward, and come up the same stairs they go down, without knowing it... Continue reading book >>

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