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Hidden Powers of State in the Cuban Imagination$
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Kenneth Routon

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034836

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034836.001.0001

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The Magic of the Revolution

The Magic of the Revolution

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Magic of the Revolution
Hidden Powers of State in the Cuban Imagination

Kenneth Routon

University Press of Florida

Drawing on recent theoretical approaches that bring together anthropology and history in the study of power, this chapter presents an ethnography that examines the magical pathos of politics and everyday life in post-Soviet Cuba. It describes not only how the monumentality of the socialist state arouses popular images of its hidden powers, but also the ways in which revolutionary officialdom has, in recent years, tacitly embraced vernacular fantasies of power and harnessed them to the national agenda. The book suggests that popular culture and the state are deeply entangled within a promiscuous field of power, taking turns siphoning the magic of the other in order to embellish their own fantasies of authority, control, and transformation.

Keywords:   politics, post-Soviet Cuba, revolution, ethnography, political power, popular culture

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