Havana: the Revolutionary Moment • Burt Glinn • Magnum Photos

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Politics

Havana: the Revolutionary Moment

Burt Glinn captures the defining moment in Cuba's history when Fidel Castro seized power ousting Fulgencio Batista

Burt Glinn

Burt Glinn Times of euphoria as Fidel Castro and his army tries to drive through the city of Cienfuegos, on their way to liberate Havana. Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Fidel Castro delivering an hours-long speech. He had arrived in Santa Clara following its liberation by forces lead by Ernesto Che Guevara. Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Castro lifts a young admirer. Cuba, 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Castro sympathizers form an ad hoc militia and secure whatever buildings are available.No photograph or digital file may be reproduced, cropped or modified. Santa Clara,Cuba. 1959. (digitally (...)
Burt Glinn New years Day in Havana, confusion is rampant as Castro sympathizers come out into the streets with whatever weapons available. In Havana, loot and destruction followed the news of President Batist (...)
Burt Glinn Local Castro sympathizers in Havana formed barricades to stop the Batista regime supporters from escaping from the city. Havana, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn New Year Days, police station, Castro sympathizers round up former Batista secret police. Havana, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Castro and his people were coming in from the Sierra Mastre using any transport they could find including a tank that belonged to Batista. Santa Clara, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn 'Fidelistas' take over the Hilton Hotel and get their first rest after living in the field for months. Havana, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Young guerillero in from hiding speaks to his first civilian lady. Havana, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Castro on speakers platform with his growing entourage. Santa Clara, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Surrounded by cheering crowds, Castro autographs a poster in a small town. Havana, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Fidel Castro and his rebel army stop along the roadside during their march to liberate Havana. Cuba. 1959 © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Fidel Castro speaking to a nun. Cuba, Havana. 1959 © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Thousands of supporters flocked in front of the Presidential Palace in Havana to welcome their liberator Fidel Castro and the newly appointee Dr. Manuel Urrutia. Havana, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn New Year Days, Mother re-united with his son who was guerilla fighter. Havana, Cuba. 1959. © Burt Glinn | Magnum Photos

In Havana: the Revolutionary Moment, Burt Glinn describes the combination of chutzpah and journalistic prescience that led him to leave a New York party and hop on a plane to Havana, arriving just after dawn on New Year’s Day, 1959. He went in search of a revolution, and what he found was one of the most revealing accounts of Fidel Castro and Cuba ever recorded. Glinn was able to grasp that, far more than bearing witness to some interesting news event, he had found himself in the very midst of history-in-the-making, at a moment of serious radical change. His images of Castro, thronged by his countrymen and women, as he stopped to encourage them along the road to Havana, of troops embracing, and of fierce men and women alike taking up arms in the streets, are full of the fervor, hope, and idealism that characterized a very defining moment in Cuban history.