My Summer in Havana: Coffee, Tobacco & Capitalism in Rural Cuba 1959-1985

Rated 4.83/5 based on 6 reviews
In 1985, I spent two months in Havana researching the last traces of private sector agriculture. Life behind the sugar cane curtain was not what I had imagined. My research produced startling results. The journal I kept and the research I conducted are fused in this book. Was the metal canister I found a listening device? Are canned Vienna sausages a luxury? Read "My Summer in Havana" to find out! More
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About Lauren Burnhill

Lauren began working in social finance and “multiple bottom line” (MBL) investing in 1983 at the OAS. Over time, she has held increasingly responsible positions in emerging markets investments at the IIC, Barclays Bank (BZW), Ariel Ventures and more recently as Chief Investment Officer at ACCION International, a global leader in microfinance and access to finance for poor and disadvantaged populations. In 2009, Lauren left ACCION, confident that access to finance was on everyone's radar and concerned that access to life sectors (health, education, affordable housing, clean water, renewable energy) would require innovative financial structures to reach the majority of the world's population.

Currently, Lauren is the Managing Director of One Planet Ventures (OPV), a consultancy that brings innovative thinking to MBL strategies and financial product innovation, particularly those that can improve the quality of life for the working poor. Lauren’s blog on impact investment, “The Money in the Middle”, can be found at @LaurenOPV shares other people’s thoughts and research on #ImpInv. OPV works with a broad range of clients including multilateral development finance organizations, international non-profits, venture capital associations, development and investment advisory firms and private, for-profit businesses.

Lauren holds an MBA in Finance & Strategic Planning from Wharton and an MA in Social Change & Development from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Learn more about Lauren Burnhill

Reviews of My Summer in Havana: Coffee, Tobacco & Capitalism in Rural Cuba 1959-1985 by Lauren Burnhill

jchp reviewed on July 11, 2014

Enjoyed Lauren's observations, humor and insights. One realizes that her stay in Cuba was a formative experience and that the conclusions of her research would shape the solutions she would later advocate to address development challenges.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
egh329 reviewed on July 10, 2014

Really enjoying this book. I have already found parts I can use with my students ( I'm a Spanish teacher) when we study Cuba, past and present. It's nice to read from someone who was there at that time (the 80's) and experienced it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Robert Chambers reviewed on July 9, 2014

I’ve had the good fortunes of discovering this book through a recommendation of a “frollleague” (friend + colleague) – wink. The book is a walk down memory lane for me. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Cuba a few times in the past and now, thanks to Lauren’s ability to capture the Cuban experience in words, I felt like I’ve gone back again. Her adventures were so much more than drinking rum, playing dominoes, and debating the virtues of capitalism. She presented a great deal of information regarding the agrarian conditions pre and post-Castro. I greatly appreciated this information and it eventually made me wonder what has happened to the farmers and their cooperatives. I’ll hope for the best.
I recommend this book to anyone that wants to get a glimpse into the Cuban lifestyle in the 1980’s, or for that matter the present. What I found to be so refreshing about this book is that Lauren recognized the positive attitudes of the Cuba people despite the conditions.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
Deborah reviewed on July 9, 2014

If only my travel journals were as much fun to read!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
rqueen reviewed on July 9, 2014

It reminded me of so many visits to so many countries "back in the day". Great fun to read the journal entries in between the official analysis.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
soaresf reviewed on July 9, 2014

Insightful and good spirited. Laughed as much as I learned. The author makes reading latin american political/social commentary actually enjoyable.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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