Keighren on Von Humboldt, 'Political Essay on the Island of Cuba' | H-HistGeog | H-NetThe research Alexander von Humboldt amassed during his five-year trek through the Americas in the early nineteenth-century proved foundational to the fields of botany, geography, and geology. But his visit to Cuba during this time yielded observations that extended far beyond the natural world. Political Essay on the Island of Cuba is a physical and cultural study of the island nation. In it, Humboldt denounces colonial slavery on both moral and economic grounds and stresses the vital importance of improving intercultural relations throughout the Americas. The result is a work on Cuba of historical import that will attract historians of science as well as cultural historians, political scientists, and literary scholars. An Introduction by Vera M. Kutzinski and Ottmar Ette.
Political Essay on the Island of Cuba: A Critical Edition
Description Alexander von Humboldt was the most celebrated modern chronicler of North and South America and the Caribbean, given the steady advance of technology and ideas. Humboldt wonders how much longer an educated elite can continue to rule over a large slave population, and this translation of his essay on New Spain--the first modern regional economic and political geography--covers his travels across today's Mexico in Return to Book Page. His descriptive and critical analysis of the island paints the picture of a tropical paradise with a complex social structure that is a byproduct of its diverse population and the external pressure of foreign intervention in domestic politics.Bythe Caribbean, when the Essay was aa published. The Political Essay is a fascinating document that will find an appreciative audience in those with an interest in the history of Cuba, which includes the history of the indigenous peoples. University of Chicago Press. Vera Kutzinski and Ottmar Ette's informative and clear introduction reflects the latest in Humboldt research and will help orient readers interested in Humboldt's American expediti.
Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Delete Cancel Save. Average rating 4. The result is a work on Cuba of historical import that will attract historians of science as well as cultural historians, political scientists.
Compare the figure and position of the Bay of Pigs [Ensenada de Cochinos] and the port of Cienfuegos with his map [pp. Cancel Save. Thrasher, for instance. In Cuba, J!
From his accounts, modern readers can posit Cuba as a nexus of the sweeping changes that the world polutical undergoing at this time due to European colonization and advances in transportation and communication technologies? Enlarge cover. Kutzinski and Ottmar Ette 2. The inimitable Humboldt ranges from Chile to Alaska to the future Panama Canal; from cartography and climate to human migration and tropical disease; from indigenous agriculture to slave plantations; from bananas and manioc to cotton and sugar; from whales and sea otters to cigars, and gunpowder; from Aztec floating gardens to Spanish hydraulic engineering; and from Mexican silver mines to their world-shaking impact on global capitalism--until it seems nothing escapes his probing analysis and often scathing critique?
His descriptive and critical analysis of the island paints the picture of a tropical paradise with a complex social structure that is a byproduct of its diverse population and the external pressure of foreign intervention in domestic politics. A Prussian natural scientist who was world-renowned for his brilliance and scholarship, Humboldt arrived in Cuba in and applied his scientific methods to describing the social and political atmosphere of the island. He uses both qualitative and quantitative data to describe the geographic location, economy, racial makeup, and political hierarchy that make Cuba a unique colony among all the other Caribbean territories. From his accounts, modern readers can posit Cuba as a nexus of the sweeping changes that the world was undergoing at this time due to European colonization and advances in transportation and communication technologies. What Humboldt was witnessing on Cuba were the very beginnings of what we now know as the modern era. Humboldt presents his most compelling descriptions of Cuba in his accounts on the nature of slavery and race on the island.
It is precisely this aspect that makes the book a valuable addition to the literature. Terms and Conditions Privacy Statement. Contact About Privacy. About Alexander von Humboldt. Open Access.