Join The Seattle Public Library from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7 for the A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History.

Historian Ada Ferrer, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her book “Cuba: An American History,” will discuss Cuba’s long history and its complex ties to the United States.

The event will be held at the Central Library’s Level 1 Microsoft Auditorium (1000 Fourth Avenue) and will also be livestreamed. It is free, but registration is required. Reserve your ticket at this EventBrite link.


With “Cuba,” Ferrer delivers an “important” (The Guardian) and moving chronicle that demands a new reckoning with both the island’s past and its relationship with the United States. Spanning more than five centuries, “Cuba: An American History” provides us with a front-row seat as we witness the evolution of the modern nation, with its dramatic record of conquest and colonization, of slavery and freedom, of independence and revolutions made and unmade.

Along the way, Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising, often troubled intimacy between the two countries, documenting not only the influence of the United States on Cuba but also the many ways the island has been a recurring presence in U.S. affairs. This is a story that will give Americans unexpected insights into the history of their own nation and, in so doing, help them imagine a new relationship with Cuba; “readers will close [this] fascinating book with a sense of hope” (The Economist).

Filled with rousing stories and characters, and drawing on more than thirty years of research in Cuba, Spain, and the United States — as well as the author’s own extensive travel to the island over the same period — this is a stunning and monumental account like no other.


Ada Ferrer is the Julius Silver Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, where she has taught since 1995. She is also the author of “Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868–1898,” winner of the Berkshire Book Prize for the best first book by a woman in any field of history, and “Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution,” which won the Frederick Douglass Book Prize from the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University as well as multiple prizes from the American Historical Association. Born in Cuba and raised in the United States, she has been traveling to and conducting research on the island since 1990.


The A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History is made possible by a generous gift from the late Priscilla Bullitt Collins in honor of her father, A. Scott Bullitt. The Bullitt Lectures are annual lectures that highlight a significant period, event or individual in American history, with an emphasis on inclusive stories of American history that might be less known.

This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsor Gary Kunis and media sponsor The Seattle Times, and presented in partnership with the Elliott Bay Book Company.



The Seattle Public Library has more wonderful author events planned in the next week:


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