David Brooks (PBS)

David Brooks: The future of Cuba is exceeding bleak — but unlike Americans, at least Cubans still read poetry

He wonders if the "U.S. malaise has something to do with the way we have lost touch with our own national poets"


Scott Eric Kaufman
April 22, 2016 3:39PM (UTC)

David Brooks -- who is currently traveling in Cuba with a number of artists as part of President Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities -- took time out from penning condescending columns about liberals' shortcomings to celebrate the work of 19th Century Cuban poet José Martí -- sort of.

"It’s hard to be too optimistic about Cuba’s short-term future," he wrote. "The leaders are trying to square the mother of all circles -- to have a rich society but without rich people; to have an entrepreneurial class but without losing the egalitarian solidarity; to have revolutionary socialism and also outside investment and growth, risk-taking and enterprise."

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However, they do have Martí, "who told Cubans who they were and what their story was." This is something, he continued, that

[e]very nation needs to know -- who it is and what its collective story is. I wonder if the current U.S. malaise has something to do with the way we have lost touch with our own national poets, or even a common sense of who they might be...

Read the rest at the New York Times...


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Cuba David Brooks José Martí Literature Poetry




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