By Oscar Zanetti, Alejandro Garcia
Although Cuba was once one of the first international locations on the planet to make use of rail shipping, the historical past of its railroads has been little studied. This English translation of the prize-winning Caminos para el az?car lines the tale of railroads in Cuba from their advent within the 19th century during the 1959 Revolution.More generally, the e-book makes use of the improvement of the Cuban rail shipping approach to supply a desirable viewpoint on Cuban background, rather the tale of its major agro-industry, sugar. whereas railroads facilitated the sugar industry's speedy development after 1837, the authors argue, sugar pursuits made up our minds the place railroads will be outfitted and who would get advantages from them. Zanetti and Garc'a discover the results of this symbiotic dating for the technological improvement of the railroads, the industrial evolution of Cuba, and the lives of the railroad workers.As this paintings exhibits, the commercial advantages that followed the increase of railroads in Europe and the U.S. weren't repeated in Cuba. Sugar and Railroads presents a poignant demonstration of the truth that technological development by myself is much from adequate for improvement.
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Extra info for Sugar & Railroads: A Cuban History, 1837-1959
The sources for studying the labor movement in the railroad sector deserve special mention. In spite of the early organization of the railroad workers and the historic continuity of their labor unions, the sources generated by the railroad labor movement have not been preserved in an organized way. The archives of the Hermandad Ferroviaria and of other labor organizations in the sector have disappeared or have become mixed in with other collections of documents to such an extent that they cannot be located.
The railroads became a metaphor for economic development, for industrial progress, and for technological modernity. Yet, the authors contend, the history of the railroads, despite the achievement of linking the island more effectively than the earlier road or water transport systems, provided a clear case of form divorced from function. Railroads made Cuba neither modern nor developed. Introduced primarily for the sugar interests and the plantations, they served those interests initially irrespective of the general welfare.
Without ignoring the positive aspects of that effort in terms of the creation of a more precise tool of analysis, we must point to its unilateral nature, which has limited the scope of such investigations. The "original sin" of those studies has been that they reduce the complex, many-sided phenomenon of economic development to the growth rate of certain indexes, such as the gross national product or per capita income. " Even though development encompasses that phenomenon, its contents are much richer and include such important aspects as the degree to which a country makes rational use of its natural and human resources and the effects that economic activities have on the people's standard of living.
Sugar & Railroads: A Cuban History, 1837-1959 by Oscar Zanetti, Alejandro Garcia