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Quisqueya la Bella: Dominican Republic in Historical and Cultural Perspective (Perspectives on Latin America & the Caribbean) [Paperback]

Alan Cambeira
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Dec 1996 1563249367 978-1563249365 1
A history of the Dominican Republic from pre-Columbian times to the present. The book focuses on the merger of three cultures across time - the indiginous cultures of the Caribbean, the Iberians of southern Europe and the Africans.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: M.E. Sharpe; 1 edition (31 Dec 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563249367
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563249365
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 15 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,018,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This amazing book introduced many topics that I was totally unfamiliar with. The historical relationship with Haiti, for instance, was definitely enlightening. I was slightly embarrassed by my ignorance on the subject of a culture located so close to mainland USA, and with a resident Dominican population numbering in the thousands, sharing our communities! We need to learn more about this country with such a long and turbulent history. The Dominican Republic is of course much more than the wonderful Sammy Sosa.Cambeira's book places in firm historical and cultural perspective the meaning of Caribbean identity. This is truly a haunting tale, written in a magnificent, untraditional style that readily appeals to persons like myself...who usually found history texts boring. Cambeira's work is far from boring... this is outstanding.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suggested Reading for a Popular Play 22 Nov 2004
I am very impressed by this unusual perspective on Dominican history and culture by the Dominican writer Alan Cambeira. Cambeira's work is not your conventional history text. It reads more like an interest sustaining novel; It also presents some cultural aspects most writers on the subject usually omit or avoid altogether. I also found a surprising side issue: the theatrical version of Mario Vargas Llosa's La Fiesta Del Chivo (The Festival of the Goat) is in production by the well respected Repertorio Espanol and has an accompanying Study Guide done by Iliana Fuentes. I see that Ms Fuentes also lists Cambeira's book as a part of the suggested reading in this regard. To me, then, Cambeira has a winner. His book is definitely worth the read. ...
Azucar's Sweet Hope...Her story continues (a novel) (by Alan Cambeira)
Bravo Cambeira!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Cambeira openly discusses the concept of race and skin color in the Dominican Republic, and deals amply and sensitively with the issue of the complex Dominican-Haitian relationship. "Quisqueya" is a collector's item which needs to be read and guarded carefully on the shelf of individuals interested in the Caribbean.This should be required reading for those making their first trip to the island.This book doesn't read like the conventional history text! It flows lyrically like the waves of the Caribbean itself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Historical and Cultural Jewel 19 May 2005
This particular book by Professor Cambeira is truly a jewel in terms of its historical and cultural content and its unique treatment. Unlike any other book of this kind that I have read for its clarity in presentation. This is not your ordinary history textbook, but rather a highly personalized and lucid and informed interpretation of a community's evolution. I like how the Professor, who is Dominican, convinces the reader of his honesty. He says what many other Dominican writers don't say about our country, especially concerning certain questions of identity and the notion of inclusion in the formation of what we call dominicanidad. I also like the way Cambeira's writing style flows so gracefully. His nonfiction style is like his lyrical fiction that I found in his novels Azucar! The Story of Sugar and the sequel Azucar's Sweet Hope...Her Story Continues.
Cambeira is a wonderful writer in every sense.
High Recommended Reading.
His latest novel Azucar's Sweet Hope...Her Story Continues is the Best Novel I've read in a long time !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
238 of 238 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quisqueya La Bella- Excellent Interpretation 26 Aug 2003
By A Customer - Published on
More than a history text, Quisqueya La Bella helps you interpret the cultural and ethnic aspects that shaped the Dominican Republic. Read about one of the largest immigrant groups to the U.S.; read how the town of San Pedro de Macoris is home to more major league baseball players than any city in the world; read how the Dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo brutually kept his iron-fisted grip on the island for over 31 years; read about the complex and often disturbing relationship with neighboring Haiti and how the Dominican Republic gave birth to the world-famous Merengue. Follow the rise and fall of slavery, sugar, and revolution. This English language book paints the "essential kaleidoscopic ingredients" of a fascinating people.
"Excellent Book" Very Highly Recommended
231 of 231 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars QUISQUEYA LA BELLA--*A SOLID CONTRIBUTION* 18 Sep 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Quisqueya la Bella is a solid contribution to the understanding of the Dominican Republic today. It helps to close the existing gap concerning in-depth analysis in English of both the Dominican people and the socioeconomic problems that currently afflict Dominican society. Both deserve a wide audience...The author's text is generally passionate and committed...Cambeira sets out the shed light on the understanding of the Dominican mind.
New West Indian Guide Vol. 73 no. 1&2
235 of 236 people found the following review helpful
By Joshua Bilmont - Published on
The sad coincidence of the tragic fate of American Airlines flight 587 and at the same time finishing Alan Cambeira's fascinating book about the evolution of Dominican Culture is uncanny. Like any fascinating work, "Quisqueya La Bella" has opened my heart and mind in truly eradicating my irrational fear and shameful ignorance about a beautiful community of people that knows true suffering at every turn.
Flight 587 and this excellently crafted book should leave all of us with a new found, genuine compassion to seek the truth.
This book and the people of the Dominican Republic really touched me deeply. This is the best of its kind that I've ever read in my life..I give 5 stars...Will become the seminal work.
200 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Beautiful Quisqueya" 3 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on
"Quisqueya" was the name that the pre-Columbian indigenous Taino people called their island before the Europeans arrived; it meant "Mother of All Lands." Today, the Dominican Republic (with the Republic of Haiti) occupies that island in the Caribbean. The author Alan Cambeira presents an overview of the historical and cultural development of the Dominican Republic from pre-Columbian times to the present. Cambeira shows how the encounter and merger of the three cultures across time have resulted in a distinctive Dominican Culture. The book also includes abundant geographical coverage and 3 appendixes that describe language diffences and other contemporary cultural concerns. For anyone planning a trip to this island or the the Caribbean generally will find this book a requirement before going. He does an excellent job in telling this story.
A Must Read Book!
213 of 214 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quisqueya La Bella "Athens of the New World" 27 Nov 2003
By Steve Scott - Published on
Everybody called Quisqueya the "Athens of the New World".
It is a country with beautiful beaches and beautiful people and a complex history. The island's ethnic mix of indigenuous, European (mainly Spanish) and African cultures and their merger across time resulted in the distinctive Dominican culture that we know today. Cambeira's passion for his native island is evident on every page. This book gave me a really different and fresh perspective from other books on the subject by other authors that I have read. This is an excellent personal interpretation that I'm recommending to anyone interested in learning about the Atena del Nuevo Mundo.Thanks to the Author. My next reading will certainly be his novel that everybody is talking about: Azucar! The Story of Sugar.
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