To Defend the Revolution Is to Defend Culture—but, Which Version?

In tracing the development of Cuban cultural policy between the years of 1959 and 1976, Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt conceptualizes that history, and its ideas about the role of culture in society, as a potential “antidote” to contemporary, neoliberal policy paradigms. However, in its intense focus on the positions articulated by the revolutionary leadership, her account of that history shortchanges the ideas of those who held critical or opposing views. This review locates Gordon-Nesbitt’s approach in the context of debates about early revolutionary cultural policy, and in relation to the current tendency in cultural policy, which thoroughly instrumentalizes creativity and culture.

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