Intrigued by tales of his parents' long-ago journey to the pre-revolutionary "Pearl of the Antilles," award-winning photographer Byron Motley traveled to Cuba more than a decade ago and instantly fell in love. Year after year he has returned with his camera to explore its vistas, its people, and its spirit.
Through his vivid photographs, readers discover the real Cuba: its heart-stopping architecture and infectious energy, its cars seemingly teleported from the past, its love of baseball so fierce as to be nearly religious, the joy of community, and the unexpected juxtapositions of life in the last bastion of communism in the Western world.
Even before the easing of travel restrictions, Motley's personal relationships with key dignitaries provided him with unprecedented access in Havana, allowing him to capture the allure, the mystique, and the vibrant essence of Cuba.
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“Motley’s photographs are vivid, varied and beautiful. This is a perfect coffee table or gift book”. —Manhattan Book Review
"These beautiful photographs bring back many memories of Cuba--my people, my childhood, and so many beautiful moments that passed growing up in my beloved land.” —Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers all-star outfielder
“Anyone who has the pleasure of perusing the arresting pages in this righton-time photograph album will see the source of our enthusiasm. . . View and enjoy these sensitive photos, and bon voyage”. —Booklist
“Motley’s combined photographic and narrative skills create a succinct and evocative journey that transports the reader into those sides of island life and legacy that engage him most powerfully. . . . The result is this stunning visual and heart-felt narrative of Cuba in all its major dimensions”. — INsights
“Embracing Cuba will certainly provide you with a vivid kaleidoscope of images and description of what to possibly expect from your own first encounter. Author Byron Motley’s combined photographic and narrative skills create a succinct and evocative journey that transports the reader into those sides of the island life and legacy that engage him most powerfully”. – InselAir Magazine
RULING OVER MONARCHS, GIANTS & STARS...
Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars: True Tales of Breaking Barriers, Umpiring Baseball Legends, and Wild Adventures in the Negro Leagues (Skyhorse/Sports Publishing) is the memoir of Bob Motley (Byron’s father), the last surviving umpire from the historic Negro Baseball Leagues. Co-written by Byron, the story is a fascinating discovery of one man’s journey from growing up in the segregated south to life as one of the first African-American Marines, to the thrilling life and time in professional Negro baseball.
Motley's account of the Negro Leagues is not a sad one; rather, it celebrates a league long lost and salutes a remarkable group of baseball players that captivated audiences with its flashy play. The men in black--not blue--took to diamonds across the country sporting fetching attire, black ties, and shiny dress shoes. Motley took things a step further, entertaining audiences by exaggerating his calls--doing the splits or leaping high in the air while roaring, "YOU'RE O-O-O-U-U-T-T-T!
SUPPORT FOR "RULING....!"
"In my ever-growing appetite to learn more about the Negro Leagues, I found this terrific book by a former umpire of the Negro Leagues that is funny, entertaining and informative as well. It should be read by all baseball fans." - Sports Book
"A fascinating, raucous and significant book! RULING OVER MONARCHS, GIANTS & STARS is one man’s riveting journey from his impoverished upbringing in the deadly racist south, to his hilarious foray as a teen entrepreneur (moving women and whiskey), to his terrifying fighting in the south pacific during WWII as one of the first African American Marines, and ultimately finding his calling as one of the first African American umpires in professional baseball. His vivid accounts during the battles at Saipan and Tinian contain details I had never heard before, and baseball enthusiast will thrill at his exploits involving Negro League legends, revealing little-known personal exchanges and stories. It’s rich with colorful characters. The prose, co-written with his son Byron Motley, is breezy, told in Bob Motley’s voice. It’s rife with humor, vivid detail and often touches on universal themes relevant to readers of any age. The poignant moments will stay with you. And the fact that Motley is now the only living umpire from the Negro Leagues and a recipient of the Medal of Honor makes this even more of a must-read. Truly inspiring!" - Amazon Reader
"I just got done listening to "Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars" and I must say that it is a great book for anyone interested in the umpire experience in the Negro Leagues. It is a very colorful book (meaning with stories and with language) and goes extremely fast. " - Umpire Empire
Also available as an audio book!