History

The Cuba Reader | ,

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Tracking Cuban history from 1492 to the present, The Cuba Reader includes more than one hundred selections that present myriad perspectives on Cuba's history, culture, and politics. The volume foregrounds the experience of Cubans from all walks of life, including slaves, prostitutes, doctors, activists, and historians. Combining songs, poetry, fiction, journalism, political speeches, and many other types of documents, this revised and updated second edition of The Cuba Reader contains over twenty new selections that explore the changes and continuities in Cuba since Fidel Castro stepped down from power in 2006. For students, travelers, and all those who want to know more about the island nation just ninety miles south of Florida, The Cuba Reader is an invaluable introduction..

Juvenile Nonfiction

Who Was Fidel Castro? | Sarah Fabiny,Who HQ

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When Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016, many people around the world responded with mixed emotions. Learn all about the man who shaped Cuba for more than half a decade. After overthrowing Fulgencia Batista in 1959, Fidel Castro became the leader of an island country only ninety miles away from Florida. While in power, Castro outlasted ten US presidents and turned the small nation into a one-party state with influence over the entire world. Called a leader by some and a dictator by others, Castro defined not one but several eras in world politics..

Fiction

The Autobiography of Fidel Castro | Norberto Fuentes

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"A compelling fictional personage-by turns arrogant, funny, pompous, lewd, self-absorbed and self-deluding."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times An audacious “biography” of the ex-president of Cuba told in Castro’s own outrageous, bombastic voice. Prize-winning author and journalist Norberto Fuentes was once a revolutionary: a writer with privileged access to Fidel Castro’s inner circle during some the most challenging years of the revolution. But in the late 1990s, as the regime began sending its oldest comrades to the firing squad, he became A Man Who Knew Too Much. Escaping a death sentence and now living in exile, Fuentes has written a brilliant, satirical, and utterly captivating “autobiography” of the Cuban leader—in Fidel’s own arrogant and seductive language—discussing everything from Castro’s early sexual experiences in Birán to his true feelings about Che Guevara and his philosophy on murder, legacy, and state secrets. Critics have long admired Fuentes’s writing; one U.S. article called him “Norman Mailer’s Cuban pen pal.” Akin to Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, or Edmund Morris’s Dutch, this wickedly entertaining, true-to-life masterpiece is as imaginative and outsized as Castro himself..

History

Fidel Castro | Volker Skierka

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Fidel Castro is one of the most interesting and controversial personalities of our time – he has become a myth and an icon. He was the first Cuban Caudillo – the man who freed his country from dependence on the USA and who lead his people to rediscover their national identity and pride. Castro has outlived generations of American presidents and Soviet leaders. He has survived countless assassination attempts by the CIA, the Mafia, and Cubans living in exile. He has become one of the greatest politicians of the 20th Century. His biography, and the history of his country exemplify the tensions between East and West, North and South, rich and poor. As Castro's life draws to a close, the question as to what will become of Cuba is more important that ever. Will Castro open Cuba to economic reform and democratization, or stick to his old slogan socialism or death? In this remarkable, up-to-date reconstruction of Castro's life, Volker Skierka addresses these questions and provides an account of the economic, social, and political history of Cuba since Castro's childhood. He draws on a number of little-known sources, including material from the East German communist archives on Cuba, which were until recently inaccessible. This is an exciting, painstakingly researched, and authortiative account of the life of one of the most extraordinary political figures of our time..

History

Fidel Castro | Alex Moore

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FIDEL CASTRO August 13, 1926 – November 26, 2016. “A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past.” --Fidel Castro From revolutionary and symbol of strength to Cold War adversary, Fidel Castro was one of the world’s most controversial leaders, and perhaps its most enduring. As Cuba’s towering and charismatic president for nearly fifty years, Castro’s influential leadership captivated allies and enemies alike. By virtue of passionate oration and committed sense of purpose—good or bad—Castro kept the Cuban people devoted and the world enthralled. From his earliest years as a student rebel to his role in Cuba's social reform to The Cuban Missile Crisis, his life is covered in extensive detail within this book. The transfer of power to Raul Castro is explored as well as the changes to Cuban/American diplomatic relations, including Obama’s view of America’s relationship with Cuba. Castro’s death is covered as well as the world’s the reaction to it, including the views of American and Cuban people and the differing reactions of Obama and Trump. A comprehensive look into each stage of Castro’s life and leadership More than a dozen color photos spanning the Cuban leader’s life Comes complete with Castro’s most resonating speeches Fidel Castro: In His Own Words is not only a reflection of Castro’s life, triumphs, and misdeeds, but it is a look at the people and places affected by his politics before, during, and after the age of Cuban embargo. Regardless of readers’ political preference, there is no doubt that this captivating leader’s influence on the Cuban people, The United States, and the world will continue to echo through time..

Biography & Autobiography

Young Castro | Jonathan M. Hansen

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This intimate, revisionist portrait of Fidel Castro, showing how an unlikely young Cuban led his country in revolution and transfixed the world, is “sure to become the standard on Castro’s early life” (Publishers Weekly). Until now, biographers have treated Castro’s life like prosecutors, scouring his past for evidence to convict a person they don’t like or don’t understand. Young Castro challenges us to put aside the caricature of a bearded, cigar-munching, anti-American hothead to discover how Castro became the dictator who acted as a thorn in the side of US presidents for nearly half a century. In this “gripping and edifying narrative…Hansen brings imposing research and notable erudition” (Booklist) to Castro’s early life, showing Castro getting his toughness from a father who survived Spain’s class system and colonial wars to become one of the most successful independent plantation owners in Cuba. We see a boy running around that plantation more comfortable playing with the children of his father’s laborers than his own classmates at elite boarding schools in Santiago de Cuba and Havana. We discover a young man who writes flowery love letters from prison and contemplates the meaning of life, a gregarious soul attentive to the needs of strangers but often indifferent to the needs of his own family. These pages show a liberal democrat who admires FDR’s New Deal policies and is skeptical of communism, but is also hostile to American imperialism. They show an audacious militant who stages a reckless attack on a military barracks but is canny about building an army of resisters. In short, Young Castro reveals a complex man. The first American historian in a generation to gain access to the Castro archives in Havana, Jonathan Hansen was able to secure cooperation from Castro’s family and closest confidants. He gained access to hundreds of never-before-seen letters and interviewed people he was the first to ask for their impressions of the man. The result is a nuanced and penetrating portrait of a man at once brilliant, arrogant, bold, vulnerable, and all too human: a man who, having grown up on an island that felt like a colonial cage, was compelled to lead his country to independence..

Social Science

Castro's Cuba, Cuba's Fidel | Lee Lockwood

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History

The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro | Fidel Castro

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Early in Ann Louise Bardach's Cuban voyage she came across Cartas de Presidio or The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro. Edited by Luis Conte Aguero, who was the recipient of most of these letters, they are cited in every important work from Hugh Thomas' opus Cuba to Tad Szulc's Fidel biography, and everything in between and since. These twenty-one letters (nine to Conte Aguero, six to his late sister and close collaborator, Lidia, one to his wife Mirta, one to his comrade in combat, Melba Hernandez letters, one to the great scholar Jorge Manach) are regarded as the single most valuable and revelatory document regarding Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. Never before published in English, these letters were written when Castro was imprisoned for his failed attack on the Moncada from 1953 to 1955 and reveal a man of spectacular ambition and steely determination. A man, who despite being incarcerated to serve a lengthy prison term, never wavers in his confidence that he will one day rule Cuba..

Fiction

Hemingway on War | Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway witnessed many of the seminal conflicts of the twentieth century—from his post as a Red Cross ambulance driver during World War I to his nearly twenty-five years as a war correspondent for The Toronto Star—and he recorded them with matchless power. This landmark volume brings together Hemingway’s most important and timeless writings about the nature of human combat. Passages from his beloved World War I novel, A Farewell to Arms, and For Whom the Bell Tolls, about the Spanish Civil War, offer an unparalleled portrayal of the physical and psychological impact of war and its aftermath. Selections from Across the River and into the Trees vividly evoke an emotionally scarred career soldier in the twilight of life as he reflects on the nature of war. Classic short stories, such as “In Another Country” and “The Butterfly and the Tank,” stand alongside excerpts from Hemingway’s first book of short stories, In Our Time, and his only full-length play, The Fifth Column. With captivating selections from Hemingway’s journalism—from his coverage of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–22 to a legendary early interview with Mussolini to his jolting eyewitness account of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944—Hemingway on War collects the author’s most penetrating chronicles of perseverance and defeat, courage and fear, and love and loss in the midst of modern warfare..

Biography & Autobiography

Waiting for Snow in Havana | Carlos Eire

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“Have mercy on me, Lord, I am Cuban.” In 1962, Carlos Eire was one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Havana—exiled from his family, his country, and his own childhood by Fidel Castro’s revolution. Winner of the National Book Award, this stunning memoir is a vibrant and evocative look at Latin America from a child’s unforgettable experience. Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an exorcism and an ode to a paradise lost. For the Cuba of Carlos’s youth—with its lizards and turquoise seas and sun-drenched siestas—becomes an island of condemnation once a cigar-smoking guerrilla named Fidel Castro ousts President Batista on January 1, 1959. Suddenly the music in the streets sounds like gunfire. Christmas is made illegal, political dissent leads to imprisonment, and too many of Carlos’s friends are leaving Cuba for a place as far away and unthinkable as the United States. Carlos will end up there, too, and fulfill his mother’s dreams by becoming a modern American man—even if his soul remains in the country he left behind. Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is a eulogy for a native land and a loving testament to the collective spirit of Cubans everywhere..

Fiction

Loving Che | Ana Menendez

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In this “evocative first novel,” an elderly woman looks back on the world of revolutionary Cuba as she recalls her intimate, secret love affair with Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Publishers Weekly). A young Cuban woman has been searching in vain for details of her birth mother. All she knows of her past is that her grandfather fled the turbulent Havana of the 1960s for Miami with her in tow, and that pinned to her sweater-possibly by her mother-were a few treasured lines of a Pablo Neruda poem. These facts remain her only tenuous links to her history, until a mysterious parcel arrives in the mail. Inside the soft, worn box are layers of writings and photographs. Fitting these pieces together with insights she gleans from several trips back to Havana, the daughter reconstructs a life of her mother, her youthful affair with the dashing, charismatic Che Guevara and the child she bore by the enigmatic rebel. Loving Che is a brilliant recapturing of revolutionary Cuba, the changing social mores, the hopes and disappointments, the excitement and terror of the times. It is also an erotic fantasy, a glimpse into the private life of a mythic public figure, and an exquisitely crafted meditation on memory, history, and storytelling. Finally, Loving Che is a triumphant unveiling of how the stories we tell about others ultimately become the story of ourselves. “A moving novel from a writer to watch.” —Publishers Weekly “Inventive and hypnotic . . . [An] artful and restless examination of the exile soul.” —Los Angeles Times “[Menendez] captures Cuba’s potential, its desperation and decay, and also its dark humor.” —The New York Times “The writing is consistently beautiful. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal.

History

Cuba Libre! | Tony Perrottet

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The surprising story of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and the scrappy band of rebel men and women who followed them. Most people are familiar with the basics of the Cuban Revolution of 1956–1959: it was led by two of the twentieth century’s most charismatic figures, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara; it successfully overthrew the island nation’s US–backed dictator; and it quickly went awry under Fidel’s rule. But less is remembered about the amateur nature of the movement or the lives of its players. In this wildly entertaining and meticulously researched account, historian and journalist Tony Perrottet unravels the human drama behind history’s most improbable revolution: a scruffy handful of self-taught revolutionaries—many of them kids just out of college, literature majors, and art students, and including a number of extraordinary women—who defeated 40,000 professional soldiers to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Cuba Libre!’s deep dive into the revolution reveals fascinating details: How did Fidel’s highly organized lover Celia Sánchez whip the male guerrillas into shape? Who were the two dozen American volunteers who joined the Cuban rebels? How do you make land mines from condensed milk cans—or, for that matter, cook chorizo à la guerrilla (sausage guerrilla-style)? Cuba Libre! is an absorbing look back at a liberation movement that captured the world's imagination with its spectacular drama, foolhardy bravery, tragedy, and, sometimes, high comedy—and that set the stage for Cold War tensions that pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war..

Juvenile Fiction

My Brigadista Year | Katherine Paterson

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In an engrossing historical novel, the Newbery Medal-winning author of Bridge to Terebithia follows a young Cuban teenager as she volunteers for Fidel Castro’s national literacy campaign and travels into the impoverished countryside to teach others how to read. When thirteen-year-old Lora tells her parents that she wants to join Premier Castro’s army of young literacy teachers, her mother screeches to high heaven, and her father roars like a lion. Nora has barely been outside of Havana — why would she throw away her life in a remote shack with no electricity, sleeping on a hammock in somebody’s kitchen? But Nora is stubborn: didn’t her parents teach her to share what she has with someone in need? Surprisingly, Nora’s abuela takes her side, even as she makes Nora promise to come home if things get too hard. But how will Nora know for sure when that time has come? Shining light on a little-known moment in history, Katherine Paterson traces a young teen’s coming-of-age journey from a sheltered life to a singular mission: teaching fellow Cubans of all ages to read and write, while helping with the work of their daily lives and sharing the dangers posed by counterrevolutionaries hiding in the hills nearby. Inspired by true accounts, the novel includes an author’s note and a timeline of Cuban history..

History

The Cubans | Anthony DePalma

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"[DePalma] renders a Cuba few tourists will ever see . . . You won't forget these people soon, and you are bound to emerge from DePalma's bighearted account with a deeper understanding of a storied island . . . A remarkably revealing glimpse into the world of a muzzled yet irrepressibly ebullient neighbor."--The New York Times Modern Cuba comes alive in a vibrant portrait of a group of families's varied journeys in one community over the last twenty years. Cubans today, most of whom have lived their entire lives under the Castro regime, are hesitantly embracing the future. In his new book, Anthony DePalma, a veteran reporter with years of experience in Cuba, focuses on a neighborhood across the harbor from Old Havana to dramatize the optimism as well as the enormous challenges that Cubans face: a moving snapshot of Cuba with all its contradictions as the new regime opens the gate to the capitalism that Fidel railed against for so long. In Guanabacoa, longtime residents prove enterprising in the extreme. Scrounging materials in the black market, Cary Luisa Limonta Ewen has started her own small manufacturing business, a surprising turn for a former ranking member of the Communist Party. Her good friend Lili, a loyal Communist, heads the neighborhood's watchdog revolutionary committee. Artist Arturo Montoto, who had long lived and worked in Mexico, moved back to Cuba when he saw improving conditions but complains like any artist about recognition. In stark contrast, Jorge García lives in Miami and continues to seek justice for the sinking of a tugboat full of refugees, a tragedy that claimed the lives of his son, grandson, and twelve other family members, a massacre for which the government denies any role. In The Cubans, many patriots face one new question: is their loyalty to the revolution, or to their country? As people try to navigate their new reality, Cuba has become an improvised country, an old machine kept running with equal measures of ingenuity and desperation. A new kind of revolutionary spirit thrives beneath the conformity of a half century of totalitarian rule. And over all of this looms the United States, with its unpredictable policies, which warmed towards its neighbor under one administration but whose policies have now taken on a chill reminiscent of the Cold War..

Fiction

When We Left Cuba | Chanel Cleeton

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Instant New York Times bestseller! In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life—and heart—to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of The Last Train to Key West and Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. Beautiful. Daring. Deadly. The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez—her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro's inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost. As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future—but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything—not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart....

History

The Cuba Reader | Aviva Chomsky,Barry Carr,Alfredo Prieto,Pamela Maria Smorkaloff

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Tracking Cuban history from 1492 to the present, The Cuba Reader includes more than one hundred selections that present myriad perspectives on Cuba's history, culture, and politics. The volume foregrounds the experience of Cubans from all walks of life, including slaves, prostitutes, doctors, activists, and historians. Combining songs, poetry, fiction, journalism, political speeches, and many other types of documents, this revised and updated second edition of The Cuba Reader contains over twenty new selections that explore the changes and continuities in Cuba since Fidel Castro stepped down from power in 2006. For students, travelers, and all those who want to know more about the island nation just ninety miles south of Florida, The Cuba Reader is an invaluable introduction..

History

The Selling of Fidel Castro | William E. Ratliff

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Political Science

The Declarations of Havana | Fidel Castro

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In response to the American administration’s attempt to isolate Cuba, Fidel Castro delivered a series of speeches designed to radicalize Latin American society. As Latin America experiences more revolutions in Venezuela and Bolivia, and continues to upset America’s plans for neo-liberal imperialism, renowned radical writer and activist Tariq Ali provides a searing analysis of the relevance of Castro’s message for today..

Biography & Autobiography

The Real Fidel Castro | Leycester Coltman

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Rhetoric during and after the Cold War years has painted starkly contrasting portraits of Cuba's Fidel Castro: an unblemished idealist on the one hand, a ruthless dictator on the other. This insightful book, the most intimate and dispassionate biography of the revolutionary leader to date, shows that neither assessment is true. Leycester Coltman, British ambassador to Cuba in the early 1990s, came as close to personal friendship with Castro as any foreigner was permitted. With frequent contact and regular conversations, Coltman was in a unique position to observe the dictator's personality in both public and private situations. Here he presents a close-up view of the man who for half a century has been loved, admired, feared, and hated, but seldom really understood. Coltman chronicles the events of the Cuban leader's extraordinary life from the political activism of his university days in Havana to periods of exile, imprisonment, and guerilla warfare alongside Che Guevara, to the uncertainties of his old age. Drawing on personal observation and archival sources in Cuba and abroad, Coltman explores the contradiction between the private character and the public reputation, and highlights the complexities of the consummate actor who continues to play a crucial role on the international stage..

History

Revolutionary Pairs | Larry Ceplair

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When examining history, one must be careful not to blame rapid political change solely on famine, war, economic inequality, or structural disfunctions alone. These conditions may linger for decades without social upheaval. Successful revolution requires two triggering elements: a crisis or conjuncture and revolutionary actors who are organized in a dedicated revolutionary party, armed with a radical ideology, and poised to act. While previous revolutions were ignited by small collectives, many in the twentieth century relied on strategic relationships between two exceptional leaders: Marx and Engels (Communism), Lenin and Trotsky (Russia), Ghandi and Nehru (India), Mao and Zhou (China), and Castro and Guevara (Cuba). These partnerships changed the world. In Revolutionary Pairs: Marx and Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, Gandhi and Nehru, Mao and Zhou, Castro and Guevara, Larry Ceplair tells the stories of five revolutionary struggles through the lens of famous duos. While each relationship was unique -- Castro and Guevara bonded like brothers, Mao and Zhou like enemies -- in every case, these leaders seized the opportunity for revolution and recognized they could not succeed without the other. The first cross-cultural exploration of revolutionary pairs, this book reveals the undeniable role of personality in modern political change..