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On Captivity, On Captivity, 0817317694, 0-8173-1769-4, 978-0-8173-1769-0, 9780817317690, , , On Captivity, 081738622X, 0-8173-8622-X, 978-0-8173-8622-1, 9780817386221,

On Captivity
A Spanish Soldier's Experience in a Havana Prison, 1896-1898
by Manuel Ciges Aparicio
Edited by Dolores J. Walker

Trade Cloth
2012. 264 pp.
7
978-0-8173-1769-0
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
2012. 264 pp.
8 illus
978-0-8173-8622-1
Price:  $39.95 d

On Captivity is the first translation into English of Del Cautiverio, Manuel Ciges Aparicio’s account of his imprisonment in the notorious La Cabaña fortress in Havana during the Cuban War of Independence (1895–98).
 
Ciges enlisted in the Spanish army in 1893 at the age of twenty. He served in Africa and then in Cuba, where he opposed Spanish General Valeriano Weyler’s policies in Cuba as well as the war itself. Ciges soon found himself imprisoned and facing execution for treason as punishment for an article critical of Weyler’s conducting of the war that was intercepted by Spanish authorities before it could be published in the pro-Cuban Parisian paper L’Intransigeant.
 
First published in book form in 1903, Ciges’s account includes detailed observations concerning prison organization, perceptions of political events and personalities of the time, as well as graphic descriptions of the daily life of the men confined in the infamous prison. Ciges is the only one of the so-called Generation of 1898—writers considered to have been deeply marked by el desastre (the loss of the colonies)—who was in Cuba during the war years. His witness to events there, colored by his stance as a freethinker and political skeptic, constitutes a significant historical document. Following his release from prison, Ciges returned to Spain where he resumed his career as an activist journalist and also earned acclaim as a translator and novelist. In time, his political allegiances shifted from socialism to liberal republicanism. He was acting as provincial governor of Avila when he was killed by unidentified assassins on August 4, 1936—eighteen days after the Falangist uprising against the Second Republic.
 

D. J. Walker, professor emerita at the University of New Orleans, is the author of Spanish Women and the Colonial Wars of the 1890s.

 


“This is a book you can’t put down. The translation is impeccable and reads fluidly. If I were teaching a class on the Cuban Revolution or the Spanish- American War (or a component of a class on either subject), I would want to assign this book. It is a fine primary source for undergraduates. It is not only gripping, but also offers a novel perspective on those episodes, a perspective far removed from the classical military and political ones.” —Rafe Blaufarb, author of Bonapartists in the Borderlands: French Exiles and Refugees on the Gulf Coast, 1815−1835

On Captivity promises to make accessible to a wide readership an important first-person account: a witness to an extraordinary period in Cuban history.”—Louis A. Pérez Jr., author of Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution

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