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BOOKS Stark contrasts to former splendour Cuba: 400 Years of Architectural Heritage by Rachel Carley with photography by Andrea Brizzi. Watson-Guptill, 1997. 224pp. £38.50. (Distributor 01865 361

We are familiar with the two bearded physiognomies, and cigars, but looking at indexes in a number of books on architecture and urbanism, one could think that Cuba does not exist. The country can be confusing. Columbus encountered the island on 27 October 1492. He thought that he had reached Asia and sent his men to search for 'the Great Khan's King of Cities'. In 1881 J W Steele, the us Consul to Cuba, wrote in his Cuban Sketches: 'In your total unlikeness and inhability [sic] to all ...

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