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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Listen, Yankee!
Book cover for Listen, Yankee!Book cover for Listen, Yankee!

Based on unprecedented access to both Cuban and American officials, a book that offers fresh insight into one of history's most enigmatic relationships between nation-states—from one of America's best-known voices of political and social activism.

Listen, Yankee! offers an account of Cuban politics from Tom Hayden's unique position as an observer of Cuba and as a US revolutionary student leader whose efforts to mobilize political change in the US mirrored the radical transformation simultaneously going on in Cuba.

Chapters are devoted to the writings of Che Guevara, Régis Debray, and C. Wright Mills; the Cuban missile crisis; the Weather Underground; the assassination of JFK; the strong historical links between Cuba and Africa; the Carter era; the Clinton era; the Cuban Five; Elián González; and the December 17, 2014 declaration of normalization by presidents Obama and Castro.

Hayden puts the present moment into historical context, and shows how we're finally finding common ground to the advantage of Cubans and Americans alike. 

Book cover for Listen, Yankee!
Book cover for Listen, Yankee!Book cover for Listen, Yankee!

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“Over half a century after C. Wright Mills published his remarkable account of the Cuban Revolution, Listen, Yankee!, Tom Hayden continues the conversation. Hayden was there at the beginning. Inspired by the struggle for freedom in Cuba, Hayden pushed the New Left in the US to think about the larger world. And he is here at the end—or at least the beginning of the end—of the decades-long embargo Washington used to contain Cuba's promise. This books is much more than an account of the politics of the current thaw: it is a memoir and a meditation, a thoughtful reflection on the inter-American struggles of activists, intellectuals and politicians for a more just world.”

“At a moment when all eyes are on Cuba, Tom Hayden has written a must-read book, Listen, Yankee!, on the paired revolutionary histories of Cuba and the US. As readers of The Nation know, Hayden has been an important voice in these last few years, predicting President Obama would normalize relations in his second term. Guess what, he turned out to get it just right. A vital book for understanding this watershed moment in our countries' shared history.”

“Want to understand the historical context for the recent rapprochement between the United States and Cuba? Then read Listen, Yankee!, by activist and author Tom Hayden. Along with high-ranking Cuban insider Ricardo Alarcón, quoted extensively in the book, Hayden is uniquely positioned to provide insightful political and cultural background to this new era in US-Cuban relations.”

blog — December 02

Fidel Castro 1926–2016

The death of Fidel Castro has occasioned mourning, celebration, a New York Times obituary sixty-seven years in the making, and appraisals of El Comandante’s political work from all across the globe.

Castro is man about whom it’s impossible to be objective. There’s no denying that the Times obituary, for instance, is measured and thoughtful, and yet a cold eye can detect The Gray Lady tipping her hand at times. Why, one might, ask are the acts of torture perpetrated by the Batista regime mentioned only as an aside, and as reported speech ("[Castro] complained that the United States had raised not a whimper when Mr. Batista had tortured and executed thousands of opponents.”) and not as an historical fact that precipitated insurrection? Castro’s victory in ’59 was the end result of activity against colonial oppression that had been fomenting in Cuba for close to a century. And yet from the Times obit one might gather that the revolution in Cuba was nothing more than the escapade of a group of determined young rabble-rousers.

It remains to be seen whether history will indeed absolve Fidel. But what we can do now is to read through diverse sources on the subject of Castro’s regime—not just media published by corporations that stand to gain smearing any anti-capitalist resistance.

Seven Stories has published three great texts on Castro and Cuba: Néstor Kohan and Nahuel Scherma’s Fidel, an impassioned, illustrated biography of the titular leader; the Spanish edition of Fidel from our Siete Cuentos imprint, and Tom Hayden’s Listen, Yankee!, a detailed analysis of U.S.-Cuban relations that predicted this year’s détente. We hope you’ll take a look.

Below for your enjoyment are three pages from Fidel which take on underreported elements of Castro’s life and work:

Tom Hayden

Primary author of the famous Port Huron Statement, TOM HAYDEN was a leader in the student, antiwar, and civil rights protests throughout the 1960s. He took up the environmental cause in the 1970s, leading campaigns to shut down nuclear power plants and serving as California’s first solar energy official. He was elected to the California legislature in 1982, serving for eighteen years. Hayden is the author of Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters. He died in 2016.