Cuba's history is vast and complex, and Gott does an admirable job in trying to make sense of it all. However, particularly in the first two and a half chapters, he struggles to maintain interest, and at times it can descend into what feels like a list of battles and names, with little overall coherence. Additionally, he constantly looks forward to the future, forseeing revolution 200 years before it happened. Such a teleological approach can be frustrating, and at times does lead to some inaccurate comparisons between historical figures and Raul, Fidel and Che.
However, in the more modern chapters, Gott does a fantastic job of providing a fair-minded review of Cuba's history. His analysis of the 20th century, and particularly the survey of Cuban-American relations, is detailed and wonderfully written. He makes sense of a complex subject, and provides an account which gives a strong sense of impartiality and intellectual analysis, free from moral critique of either side. For the later chapters, Gott really gets into his stride, and the book is very much worth reading for this analysis alone. Struggle through the first couple of dry chapters and you will discover a rich, well-written history.