The best American guidebook to Cuba is Insight Guides: Cuba (APA/Houghton Mifflin, 283 pages), which covers walking Old Havana, meeting prostitutes ( jineteras ) at the Tropicana nightclub, where to see the world’s best cigars rolled by hand, and where to watch Hemingway’s ninety-six-year-old fishing-boat skipper eat his lunch. Cars of Cuba (with an essay by Cristina Garcia and 53 photographs by Joshua Greene, Abrams, 64 pages) shows what’s left of Richard Reinhardt’s lost Cuba- how, long after the Revolution, curvy, chrome-rich DeSotos, Studebakers, Roadmasters, and Pontiac Chieftains still prowl Castro’s exhausted island.
The men of the San Patricio Battalion chronicled by James Callaghan only recently received their own full-length history, Shamrock and Sword: The Saint Patrick’s Battalion in the U.S.-Mexican War by Robert Ryal Miller (University of Oklahoma Press, 232 pages). The rediscovered Civil War memoir in Geoffrey C. Ward’s column “The Life and Times” is Rebel Private, Front and Rear: Memoirs of a Confederate Soldier (Dutton, 223 pages). American Album , American Heritage’s classic gallery of photographic Americana between 1839 and the First World War, gets its due in this month’s “Letter from the Editor” (American Heritage Publishing, 352 pages).