Cuba occupies a place of undisputed fascination in the American psyche. Despite its proximity to America, this island nation remains a mystery to most Americans. Few Americans have traveled to Havana, and still fewer have traveled deeper into this isolated country.
Chris Messner, photographer, is one of the few Americans who have been able to travel extensively throughout this island. In his book, Cuba Open from the Inside, Messner documents the character of Cuba's people, its rich history, and the vast culture of the country.
Through multiple journeys, Messner has covered more than 4,000 miles on the back roads of the island nation of Cuba. Through his words and pictures, he provides a snapshot of Cuba of today—the 1950s time-capsule country 90 miles from the US coast.
"Messner's personal journey as told through his travel logs and photographs of Cuba and its people is inspiring."
Charles Regan, Vice President, National Geographic Maps
"Messner takes you into the island on a rare, intimate journey through the eyes of a detailed photographer. This book will expose you to Cuba's rich history, intertwined with a touching, personal narrative."
Stephanie Chen, Former Travel Writer, CNN.com
Customer ReviewsSee All
Cuba open from the inside
What a wonderful read. I absolutely loved this book! I felt like I was right in the middle of all that adventure. It was interesting, entertaining, and even hilarious at times. I enjoyed reading about the people, their foods, and even learning some Cuban history that I had either forgotten, or never learned. I would definately recommend this book!
On the Road, Cuba Style
If you want to hit the parts of Cuba your Amex Travel CLub would never take you then Messner's book is for you. This is not a travel guide but a guide to travel showing the reader how to explore unique places while bringing in historical context to understand another culture.
The fact that Messner states in his intro that he is dyslexic astounds one with the amount of work that went into this book.It is probably why it reads a bit different from more didactic works.
Hop into the backseat and go along for the ride! I think the erudite reader will enjoy it!
This is an unpretentious account of an American discovering Cuba beyond the beaten touristic path. The author is drawn to the beauty of the countryside, and especially to the history of the island as written in its monuments, buildings, and churches. Without taking sides on the present political situation of the country, the author gives us glimpses of the poverty and lack of freedom of its people as he proceeds on his odyssey. Guided by a Cuban who becomes a good and steadfast friend, Mr. Messner travels the breadth and length of the island, sometimes facing real danger on rough and unchartered roads. Through it all. We are treated to the sights, sounds, color, and tastes of a fascinating land, whose people face the challenges confronting them with grace and good humor. The finale has a bit of suspense, as Mr. Messner tries to extricate himself from Cuba without falling into the clutches of a customs "Comandante." I rate it 5 stars, for the honest and genuine way in which Mr. Messner guides us through his experiences, and for the opportunity of seeing through his eyes a Cuba that hasn't been seen before by outsiders. The urgency of his tale is his fear that, once open to the outside world, that Cuba will be lost forever.