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, a 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. As Cuba's leaders age and the possibility of travel to Cuba increases, this book acts as an exceptional resource for would be travelers. Through multiple journeys, Messner has covered more than 4,000 miles on the back roads of Cuba. Through his words, he provides a snapshot of this island nation and documents the Cuba of today - the 1950s time-capsule country 90 miles from the US coast.
In May of 1956, an Italian publishing scout took a train to the Russian countryside to visit the country’s most beloved poet, Boris Pasternak. He left concealing the original manuscript of Pasternak’s much anticipated first novel, entrusted to him with these words from the author: “This is Doctor Zhivago. May it make its way around the world.”