Though Cuba was among the first countries in the world to utilize rail transport, the history of its railroads has been little studied. This English translation of the prize-winning Camis para el azucar traces the story of railroads in Cuba from their introduction in the nineteenth century through the 1959 Revolution. More broadly, the book uses the development of the Cuban rail transport system to provide a fascinating perspective on Cuban history, particularly the story of its predominant agro-industry, sugar. While railroads facilitated the sugar industry's rapid growth after 1837, the authors argue, sugar interests determined where railroads would be built and who would benefit from them. Zanetti and Garcia explore the implications of this symbiotic relationship for the techlogical development of the railroads, the ecomic evolution of Cuba, and the lives of the railroad workers. As this work shows, the ecomic benefits that accompanied the rise of railroads in Europe and the United States were t repeated in Cuba. Sugar and Railroads provides a poignant demonstration of the fact that techlogical progress alone is far from sufficient for development. |Traces the history of railroads in Cuba through the 1959 revolution, showing how the sugar industry controlled the location of railroads and determined who would benefit from them.
Oscar Zanetti is a professor of history at the University of Havana.|Alejandro Garcia is a professor of history at the University of Havana.