#Read E-pub ß The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba ⛅ eBook or E-pub free

THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE is an intimate, intriguing chronicle of a culture normally hidden from most U.S citizens Author and journalist Julia Cooke closely and dispassionately looks at the lives of our neighbors south of us in the Caribbean Sea, and examines how the Castro brothers and the U.S embargo affected them This is a fascinating portrait of the resilience of the human spirit Cooke writes about her experiences, first as a U.S college student and later as a journalist, in Cuba She THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE is an intimate, intriguing chronicle of a culture normally hidden from most U.S citizens Author and journalist Julia Cooke closely and dispassionately looks at the lives of our neighbors south of us in the Caribbean Sea, and examines how the Castro brothers and the U.S embargo affected them This is a fascinating portrait of the resilience of the human spirit Cooke writes about her experiences, first as a U.S college student and later as a journalist, in Cuba She deftly describes the lives of several people who befriend her, including a young female prostitute, and eventually, her baby daughter The cogent socio historical economic data woven in with her subjects stories deepens the book s storytelling and insight Cooke is a fine writer, with a discerning eye, bright mind, and sharp pen She vividly brings to life people educated and uneducated, skilled and unskilled, young and old who relentlessly deal with debilitating poverty and the ubiquitous lack of small and large choices in the new Cuba Looking through a large lens, in context with their unique cultural milieu, Cooke reveals individuals using immense personal resources or what we Americans call street smarts to daily resolve basic, subsistence issues She follows individuals and families as they subsist and survive and shares their efforts to plan, study, learn, love, and celebrate.That Cooke wrote THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE over a ten year period adds significantly to its strength The reader is able to gain greater understanding, inspiration, and compassion for the profoundly courageous lives of regular people over the arc of time Courage required by those who leave, and those who stay Highly recommended Subtitled, Life in the New Cuba, this book was written by author Julia Cooke, who first visited the country in 2003 when she was twenty and who returned many times most notably in 2009, when after many visits, she actually moved to Cuba for several months to research this book The author was interested in what it was like to grow up in Havana as the last generation of Cubans raised with Fidel Castro in charge of their country Although Cuba has welcomed tourists, most Cubans have not travel Subtitled, Life in the New Cuba, this book was written by author Julia Cooke, who first visited the country in 2003 when she was twenty and who returned many times most notably in 2009, when after many visits, she actually moved to Cuba for several months to research this book The author was interested in what it was like to grow up in Havana as the last generation of Cubans raised with Fidel Castro in charge of their country Although Cuba has welcomed tourists, most Cubans have not travelled outside their own country as you will read though, almost all of them discuss and plan leaving endlessly Raised under a single political party, they live a life of great conformity in many ways, with shared experiences of rationed food and shortages.Cuba is a country of great extremes On a positive note, they have a literacy rate of 99%, healthcare for all, little violent crime and rations provide necessities However, changes in Russia has meant that the Soviet subsidies, which held the Cuban economy afloat up to the nineties, have caused the country economic disasters which they are still trying to cope with The people of Cuba have become adept at coping, using the black market and dreaming of exit visas to what they hope will be a better life.Cooke intersperses the stories of many young Cubans with her own experiences, in an entertaining and thought provoking read We meet many interesting characters as Cooke attempts to find an apartment in overcrowded Havana, meets Sandra who can earnmoney in one night as a prostitute than with a monthly wage as a hairdresser, mixes with Cuban punks, explores racism in Communist Havana, where 80% of University Professors are white, while 85% of those in prison are from the communities who began life in Cuba as slaves, working on sugar plantations and explore the country of Cuba through her eyes It is a place which offers its young people an education, but also limits their chances of corruption and hypocrisy and where, you feel, so many of its inhabitants are disenchanted One of those that Cooke meets, says that when she finally leaves Cuba, she is congratulated as though she has been released from jail You just hope that all these wonderful, innovative and capable people, find happiness either within Cuba or outside it and are grateful to the author for introducing them to us This is a really unique read, about a unique country well written, informative and enjoyable.I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, for review #Read E-pub ⚝ The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba õ Change looms in Havana, Cuba s capital, a city electric with uncertainty yet cloaked in clich ,miles from US shores and off limits to most Americans Journalist Julia Cooke, who lived there at intervals over a period of five years, discovered a dynamic scene baby faced anarchists with Mohawks gelled with laundry soap, whiskey drinking children of the elite, Santer a trainees, pregnant prostitutes, university graduates planning to leave for the first country that will give them a visa This last generation of Cubans raised under Fidel Castro animate life in a waning era of political stagnation as the rest of the world beckons waiting out storms at rummy hurricane parties and attending raucous drag cabarets, planning ascendant music careers and black market business ventures, trying to reconcile the undefined future with the urgent todayEye opening and politically prescient, The Other Side of Paradise offers a deep new understanding of a place that has so confounded and intrigued us Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness Cuba s capital La Mina Lisa a city electric with uncertainty yet cloaked in clich ,miles from US shores and off limits to most Americans Journalist Julia Cooke Stepbrother Bastard (Hawthorne Brothers who lived there at intervals over a period of five years The Deniers: The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud - and Those Who are Too Fearful to Do So discovered a dynamic scene baby faced anarchists with Mohawks gelled with laundry soap Ravishing Ruby whiskey drinking children of the elite Wipe Away the Tears Santer a trainees Fire With Fire pregnant prostitutes One Thousand and One Arabian Nights university graduates planning to leave for the first country that will give them a visa This last generation of Cubans raised under Fidel Castro animate life in a waning era of political stagnation as the rest of the world beckons waiting out storms at rummy hurricane parties and attending raucous drag cabarets Viaţa şi moartea nefericitului Filimon planning ascendant music careers and black market business ventures The Greek Way trying to reconcile the undefined future with the urgent todayEye opening and politically prescient Catwalk and Overpass The Other Side of Paradise offers a deep new understanding of a place that has so confounded and intrigued us This book will suck you in The author has an incredible eye for detail and, using all five senses, manages to bring Havana right to you, whether it s the ocean breezes that float through Elaine s kitchen window or the noises of G Street or the sharp zing of cakes made without the luxury of butter because it s being sold on the black market, yo This isn t a book about traveling, or politics It s a book about the individuals who grow up in Cuba, the young adults who all love their home and ye This book will suck you in The author has an incredible eye for detail and, using all five senses, manages to bring Havana right to you, whether it s the ocean breezes that float through Elaine s kitchen window or the noises of G Street or the sharp zing of cakes made without the luxury of butter because it s being sold on the black market, yo This isn t a book about traveling, or politics It s a book about the individuals who grow up in Cuba, the young adults who all love their home and yet strive to move away to anywhere they can makemoney and shake off the weight of communism I didn t mean to, but I read half the book while waiting for tire replacements It was just the book I d thrown in my bag for those just in case I end up waiting somewhere moments and I m so glad I did My tire popped and in the next few ours as I sat around the side of the road and then tire shop in the uncomfortable plastic chairs and the dense fog of tire smell, I took a trip to Havana where I met the most interesting people and had an incredible time To say this book is engrossing is laughably understated In Cuba, you were free to choose your fate until it bumped into the country s fate Then you were invited to make your destiny elsewhere THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE is a love song to Cubans, those who continue to call the island home, and those who speckle the rest of the world It is a deeply human exploration of a familiar youth culture, made unique by the strikingly particular circumstances of the island under one Castro, and then another.Cooke s book provides the opportunity to see beyond In Cuba, you were free to choose your fate until it bumped into the country s fate Then you were invited to make your destiny elsewhere THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE is a love song to Cubans, those who continue to call the island home, and those who speckle the rest of the world It is a deeply human exploration of a familiar youth culture, made unique by the strikingly particular circumstances of the island under one Castro, and then another.Cooke s book provides the opportunity to see beyond the Buena Vista Social Club Cuba into the realities of twenty first century Cuban twenty somethings Through their stories, we come to grips with why the modern story of the island is both an exodus and not an exodus And then the book leaves us with the collective question with so much change in the last ten, five years, what s next What will the fate of the island be post Raul in 2018 Enjoyable and interesting, but only to a point On the upside, Julia s experiences and stories areintimate and engaging compared to some broad overview you might read in a magazine or newspaper On the other hand, I didn t really learn much, outside of what I already knew of Cuba which wasn t much to begin with.About a third of the way in I kinda felt like I got everything I was gonna get out of the book people are surviving and living their lives the best they can Some are doing just Enjoyable and interesting, but only to a point On the upside, Julia s experiences and stories areintimate and engaging compared to some broad overview you might read in a magazine or newspaper On the other hand, I didn t really learn much, outside of what I already knew of Cuba which wasn t much to begin with.About a third of the way in I kinda felt like I got everything I was gonna get out of the book people are surviving and living their lives the best they can Some are doing just fine, some want somethingfor themselves, some are just going with the flow, good or bad.TOSOP wasn t boring or anything, but it s basically a travelogue If you want something that s got some history or a focus on Cuba as a nation past or present , you might wanna look somewhere else Some very good reporting in this book Julia Cooke is an American who attended some university courses in Havana and then lived in Havana, where she worked undercover as a journalist She does a good job interviewing people, and then researching some of the history of this complicated country I enjoyed this book, and think it would be of interest to people who have been to Cuba, or who have an interest in the history. Cuba is adored by a certain kind of American self starter educated young white women, in my experience as a land of hidden romance I m not positive why It might be the literal romance proposed to them nonstop by well groomed men, or the spiritual fullness of a data free zone, or the great weather, or the general eroticism of Havana s beautiful ruin Whatever it is, Julia Cooke caught the bug.Sometimes there was something of relief in the surrender that Havana forced on privileged foreigners Y Cuba is adored by a certain kind of American self starter educated young white women, in my experience as a land of hidden romance I m not positive why It might be the literal romance proposed to them nonstop by well groomed men, or the spiritual fullness of a data free zone, or the great weather, or the general eroticism of Havana s beautiful ruin Whatever it is, Julia Cooke caught the bug.Sometimes there was something of relief in the surrender that Havana forced on privileged foreigners You couldn t eat what you wanted to eat, porque no hay, and you couldn t visit a neighborhood with new buildings because it didn t exist Every car, townhouse, staircase, and avenue kept the patina of a city that had given itself to the passage of time and to which I was of no consequence 117 The Other Side of Paradise is a memoir masquerading as anthropology the story of Cooke s time in Havana and a few characters she was close with She comes across as a perceptive, respectful tourist resident who wants to take with her a world in which she would never permanently confine herself Your experience as a reader feels ancillary to her personal need to capture Cuba for the trapper keeper, which is a closeness that charms her whole account Even when the language gets distended and her disquisitions questionable, Cooke s affection lights the way.In retrospect, her timing on this project was fortunate The official tagline of this book is Life in the new Cuba, and it was no doubt pitched as an oral history of a pivotal time in Cuba s opening up to the world But what looked to the author like a future of precarious gains and inching reforms turned out to be a brief interregnum between Fidel Castro, the dinosaur who would forever keep a lid on Cuba, and the lifting of the embargo that happened six months after this book was published These events would be followed, of course, by the dismissal of that detente by Trump and the subsequent collapse of Cuba s benefactor, Venezuela So while things in this book aren t great, they re looking up.Honestly though, everything moves so slowly in Cuba that it s not like some major movement was stopped in its tracks by the ascent of hard liner President D az Canel or by Trump The Havana I saw was very much like the world Cooke described Even Ra l s reforms, when they were in effect, loosened conditions at the bottom of the system for regular people but contracted into everisolationism at the top 202 The sense of precariousness remained Businesses could be snatched away someone with too many ties to the United States could be thrown in jail the way two foreign businessmen who were locked away for a year were someone who is too critical, as dissident Oswaldo Pay was, could die under suspicious circumstances as he did last year No one doubts who is still in power So for some, these changes aren t anywhere near enough.My friend, who I was visiting, recommends TOSOP as prep to her tourist clients In that utility, I have to say it did an amazing job During the trip, it became a joke how often I would refer to Hoolia CUC Example passing a bicyclist, Julia said that people don t like to ride bicycles here because it looks poor, from when there was no gas in the Special Period, or Yeah, Julia got hassled by an American who warned her to stop hanging out with jineteras because the CDC was keeping tabs on her, or When Julia wanted ham, she had to get the number of a ham guy who brought a whole leg to her door like a drug deal You get a sense of how the culture works, how people hang out in each others houses drinking rum, how uneasy they are expressing political opinions around strangers, how the omnipresent illegality of everyday life de fangs the very notion of the law until suddenly the system chooses to crash on you.Living in Havana had, for me, been a sense of simultaneous discovery and impotence, a monolith of government control Swiss cheesed with resourcefulness, grace and squalor, yearning and resignation, passion, anesthesia, innocence, and cynicism And leaving Havana was walking out of a movie before its final scene But the movie was too long and the climax never seemed to arrive 198 The only area of coverage I would have likedof was a clear timeline of what was illegal, when, regarding travel and the embargo and all that Confusion permeates the Cuban US relationship even as I flew on a US carrier between Miami and Havana I was unclear on how legal all of this was and given the importance to her book of the changing regulations regarding Cuban travel outside the country, she could have done a better job highlighting what had changed.I ll admit there were times I didn t love the book Her prose contains about fifteen percentliteratoor than it should At its worst, she wrote like a student who just got done reading DFW.Havana was a woman who had once been renowned for her beauty until hard times had soured her Her hand had gotten heavy with makeup application her necklines had crept down her beauty was tainted with vulgarity But sometimes, when she was alone, after she d taken off her makeup, she danced in her garden, bare faced and barefoot, to an old bolero, and the old elegance appeared, normal as a Tuesday evening 155 Laaaaame This passage is a 25 year old who just took off her bra for the night There are enough overwrought clunkers in the book to make the writing noticeable Adolescence anywhere revolves around the recognition of a gulf between what ought to be and what is, 149 what, no it doesn t but not enough to make it painful.One really cool thing she did was explore the general theme that Cuba is romantic only to people not controlled by it expats and the artistic elite, mostly This is arguably the book s central conclusion about life in Havana This was part of what had kept the city alive in my mind even when I was away for long stretches of time I d never been religious, but I d also often found religion appealing in an arms length, abstract way 99 It s an apt comparison visiting a Catholic church allows you to steep in its history and grandeur without committing to a defunct ideology that constrains your every movement Similarly, loving Havana requires being able to leave Havana.There are moments in the book when I want her to acknowledge her outsider status , or at least to think of how others were regarding her When she s reporting on her experience at a party or what a group of men told her on the street, she writes as if from a transparent personage that cannot possibly have been the cute white American woman with whom these Cubans, who are highly sensitive to the presence of outsiders, interacted My favorite section of the book is when she attends a Santer a ritual it s the experience she most obviously sought out just for inclusion in this project, and the remove gives her space to be honest about how little she belongs there or believes in this stuff I think it s for that reason that this also happens to be the best written section of the book building in tension and darkening in mystery and generally revealing the strains of her attempt to connect with these superstitious indigents.She also had this really interesting observation on the interaction of Santer a and the godless government under which it thrived it offered irrational optimism.From within the hierarchies of Santer a, I suddenly saw, the hierarchies of Cuba seemed less rigid,scalable to Isnael In his world, the world that mattered to him, there were less firmly demarcated boundaries between concrete and abstract power.Cuban power, of course, is anything but abstract It is relentless and oppressive It s one reason why after visiting, I still haven t caught the Cuba bug Apart from the novelty of witnessing a charmingly naive kind of destitution up close, Cuba struck me as a hemmed in place fundamentally conservative that frustrated vivacity instead of amplifying it It had a unique vibe and I had a great time, but I think I generally lack the subtlety you need to love this culture that lives in the shadows.The Revolution constructed a great basis for society, but only the basis of a society I have great enthusiasm for the positives communism achieved but no tolerance for the political repression the Cuban government imposes on the people A system that teaches its citizens to read but controls what is published, as Julia says on 161.One line of hers in particular stayed in the front of my mind every time I passed a propaganda banner where in the US an advertisement would be The closer anyone got to questioning the rhetoric that protected power, the invisible lines separating the owners from the players, the harsher the rejection This may have applied everywhere, as much in my own country as in Cuba, but in Cuba, young people have always known it I grew up very American, optimistic and believing that I could do something in the world if I tried hard enough In Cuba, young people had already changed the world The word Revolution had already acquired a meaning that was close enough to the present that there wasn t room for another definition 213 This insight is as succinct a summary of the political life of a Cuban as I ve seen Props to Julia Cooke for creating a work that comes as close as is probably possible to capturing the ineffabilities of Cuban life, and explaining the mysteries, even if her attempts at epigrammatic wisdom sometimes feel less real than her connections with the characters she chose to study Pride should start at home, right Havana was a woman who had once been renowned for her beauty until hard times had soured her Her hand had gotten heavy with makeup application her necklines had crept down her beauty was tainted with vulgarity But sometimes, when she was alone, after she d taken off her makeup, she danced in her garden, bare faced and barefoot, to an old bolero, and the old elegance appeared, normal as a Tuesday eveningI came across this book in NetGalley and was able to get an early copy for review,Havana was a woman who had once been renowned for her beauty until hard times had soured her Her hand had gotten heavy with makeup application her necklines had crept down her beauty was tainted with vulgarity But sometimes, when she was alone, after she d taken off her makeup, she danced in her garden, bare faced and barefoot, to an old bolero, and the old elegance appeared, normal as a Tuesday eveningI came across this book in NetGalley and was able to get an early copy for review, happily since I had yet to read a book from or about Cuba in my around the world reading challenge.The author tells the story of modern Cuba through the lenses of the younger generation In 2003, she spent a semester there as a student, and was able to return in 2009 and again in 2011 as a tourist journalist Most chapters focus on one person in order to tell a different perspective of how people actually live Most are in Havana Characters range from disillusioned revolutionaries to prostitutes to apprentice Santer a priests Through the author s eyes and the words of her acquaintances, we see a slightly newer Cuba, a country that has three forms of currency yet still has to rely on the black market to have enough food to eat New Cuba can t offer reliable internet but has loosened the rules about religion and sexuality, and has legalized many professions that people could only do unofficially for a long time I feel like I learned a lot and got a better picture of how things are for my generation these days Is life in the United States that much betterIn Cuba, her baby would be guaranteed health care in a system that boasted a laudable record despite the decrepit appearances of most of the country s hospitals, world health organizations cite Cuba s infant mortality rate as better than that of the United States Her child would learn to read and Sandra would be guaranteed at least some food to get him or her through the first few yearsSome of the greatest conflict for young people in Cuba comes at the decision point of traveling outside the country To do so may create opportunities, but staying away too long can label you as a traitor Most of the younger people go through a crisis of identity when they have to choose, and it seemed like the majority of the people Cooke encountered can t separate their identities from that of their homeland