Key to the New World is the first comprehensive history of early colonial Cuba written in English and fills the gap in our knowledge of the island before 1700. Scholarly and popular attention tends to focus heavily on Cuba’s recent history: its notoriety as the world’s largest exporter of sugar and the Western hemisphere’s first socialist nation. Key to the New World is the first comprehensive history of early colonial Cuba written in English and fills the gap in our knowledge of the island before 1700. Luis Martínez-Fernández presents a holistic portrait of the island nation that interrelates geography, economy, society, politics, and culture and weaves these threads into a narrative that begins with the first arrival of indigenous people around 7,000 years ago. In these often-overlooked centuries, Martínez-Fernández finds the roots of many of Cuba’s enduring economic, political, social, and cultural complexities. The result is a sweeping history, a seminal text that makes clear that to fully grasp revolutionary or contemporary Cuba we must first understand what came before.
About the Author:
Dr. Luis Martínez-Fernández is an historian, university professor, author and public speaker, whose fields of expertise include Latin America, the Caribbean, education, and Latino / Hispanic politics, culture, and society. He is recognized as one of the most prolific and influential scholars in the field of Caribbean Studies. His publications include articles in Cuban Studies, Slavery and Abolition, Latin American Research Review, The Americas, Caribbean Studies, and in numerous anthologies and edited volumes. His books include: Fighting Slavery in the Caribbean, Revolutionary Cuba: A History, widely acclaimed as the most comprehensive and systematic study on the subject ever written, and Key to the New World: A History of Early Colonial Cuba, winner of the 2018 Florida Book Awards' Bronze Medal for Nonfiction, and finalist for a 2019 International Latino Book Award. He served as trustee of the College Board (2009-2015) and in numerous professional, editorial, and community boards, among them the Cuban Studies journal, the South Atlantic Humanities Center, Hispanic Young Professionals, the Community Advisory Board of WMFE (Central Florida's NPR and PBS stations), and the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of Central Florida. In 2005 he founded the annual Latin American Cultural Festival of Orlando.