Eminently readable. Little escapes Dimock's penetrating gaze, and political prejudice, class and racial divisions, the sugar economy, role of the Catholic Church, and slavery are all viewed through the optique of a Yankee superiority complex. (John M. Kirk, Dalhousie University)
A fascinating look at mid-19th-century Cuba. Dimock makes many interesting observations on the people, fauna, and culture of Cuba, but perhaps more revealing are the racist and jingoistic attitudes he reveals when arguing that the United States could make Cuba a vibrant, rich economy instead of the disaster he felt the Spanish and Cubans had made of it. (Library Journal)
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Yankee's-eye view of colonial CubaApril 28 2000
- Published on Amazon.com
This diary is valuable as a record of the assumptions and, frankly, prejudices of a New England Yankee looking at Cuba in the age of manifest destiny. Dimock assumes that Cuba belongs in the expanding domain of the United States. He speaks of the characteristics of the various racial groups on the island, all of which, he is quite clear, are inferior to his own Anglo-Saxon stock. He enjoys himself in Cuba, but is not a well behaved guest, occasionally staging little confrontations. His attempt to transcribe Spanish words is ludicrous (e.g., "jorchata" becomes "orcharda"). All in all, it's a candid record made without self-consciousness, but it is most useful to someone who already knows a good deal about Cuba. I would give the book a higher grade if it had included some background material, or at least some notes correcting Dimock's bad Spanish.