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Cuba Libre!: Che, Fidel, and the Improbable Revolution That Changed World History

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Historian and travel writer Tony Perrottet chronicles the events of the Cuban Revolution and the figures at the center of the guerrilla uprising: Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and the scrappy band of rebel men and women who followed them. Most people are familiar with the general timeline of the Cuban Revolution of 1956-1958: It was led by two of the 20th century's most ic Historian and travel writer Tony Perrottet chronicles the events of the Cuban Revolution and the figures at the center of the guerrilla uprising: Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and the scrappy band of rebel men and women who followed them. Most people are familiar with the general timeline of the Cuban Revolution of 1956-1958: It was led by two of the 20th century's most iconic figures, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara; it successfully overthrew the island nation's US-backed dictator; and it quickly went awry under Castro's rule. But less is commonly remembered about the amateur nature of the upstart movement, or the lives of its players. In this wildly entertaining and meticulously researched account, 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, art students and young lawyers, and including a number of women--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 S�nchez whip the male guerrillas into shape? Who were the two dozen American volunteers who joined the Cuban rebels? How do you make lethal land mines from condensed milk cans -- or, for that matter, cook chorizo � la guerrilla (sausage guerrilla-style)? Cuba Libre is an entertaining look back at a liberation movement that captured the imagination of the world with its spectacular drama, foolhardy bravery, tragedy, and, sometimes, high comedy--and that set the stage for a buildup of Cold War tension that became a pivotal moment in history.


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Historian and travel writer Tony Perrottet chronicles the events of the Cuban Revolution and the figures at the center of the guerrilla uprising: Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and the scrappy band of rebel men and women who followed them. Most people are familiar with the general timeline of the Cuban Revolution of 1956-1958: It was led by two of the 20th century's most ic Historian and travel writer Tony Perrottet chronicles the events of the Cuban Revolution and the figures at the center of the guerrilla uprising: Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and the scrappy band of rebel men and women who followed them. Most people are familiar with the general timeline of the Cuban Revolution of 1956-1958: It was led by two of the 20th century's most iconic figures, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara; it successfully overthrew the island nation's US-backed dictator; and it quickly went awry under Castro's rule. But less is commonly remembered about the amateur nature of the upstart movement, or the lives of its players. In this wildly entertaining and meticulously researched account, 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, art students and young lawyers, and including a number of women--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 S�nchez whip the male guerrillas into shape? Who were the two dozen American volunteers who joined the Cuban rebels? How do you make lethal land mines from condensed milk cans -- or, for that matter, cook chorizo � la guerrilla (sausage guerrilla-style)? Cuba Libre is an entertaining look back at a liberation movement that captured the imagination of the world with its spectacular drama, foolhardy bravery, tragedy, and, sometimes, high comedy--and that set the stage for a buildup of Cold War tension that became a pivotal moment in history.

30 review for Cuba Libre!: Che, Fidel, and the Improbable Revolution That Changed World History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I was listening to Christopher Ryan’s podcast with Tony Perrottet a couple weeks ago. As it turned out, I was leaving for a vacation in Cuba in 3 days and really knew nothing of the country’s history. I figured this was a sign and I drove an hour to the nearest bookstore and picked up a copy of Cuba Libre! That was the best decision I could have made. This book is so captivating, I couldn’t put it down. I finished the book on the plane to Havana. When I got to Cuba I saw the characters everywher I was listening to Christopher Ryan’s podcast with Tony Perrottet a couple weeks ago. As it turned out, I was leaving for a vacation in Cuba in 3 days and really knew nothing of the country’s history. I figured this was a sign and I drove an hour to the nearest bookstore and picked up a copy of Cuba Libre! That was the best decision I could have made. This book is so captivating, I couldn’t put it down. I finished the book on the plane to Havana. When I got to Cuba I saw the characters everywhere. Castro, Che, Frank Pias, Camilo Cienfuegos. This book gave me such an appreciation and understanding of their triumph and their heartbreak. Even if you aren’t planning on visiting Cuba this is still a great read. If you are planning to visit Cuba, I left my copy of the book at my Airbnb on 102 O’Reilly Street in Havana for you to enjoy! 😉

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan Blexrud

    I give very few 5 star reviews, but I found this book so exceptionally chronicled, while still reading like a non-stop and breathtaking fictional account. I had traveled to Cuba in January and was keen on gaining more insight into the Cuban Revolution and its lead characters. Growing up in Florida, I wish I had known years before about this gallant, improbable struggle, and I have an entirely different perspective on what transpired there. Wonderful book!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rhuff

    Overall it's a good summary. The author attempts to "channel" 1950s Cuba and for the most part succeeds. There is nothing new here for veteran Cuba buffs. The book's chief claim is to introduce the "Cuba Story" to Gen-Xers who haven't heard anything beyond the usual mass media disinformation, and written in a style accessible to them. My chief criticism is its Fidel-centricity. There was more to the Revolution than los comandantes barbudos de la Sierra, though indeed there would have been no Rev Overall it's a good summary. The author attempts to "channel" 1950s Cuba and for the most part succeeds. There is nothing new here for veteran Cuba buffs. The book's chief claim is to introduce the "Cuba Story" to Gen-Xers who haven't heard anything beyond the usual mass media disinformation, and written in a style accessible to them. My chief criticism is its Fidel-centricity. There was more to the Revolution than los comandantes barbudos de la Sierra, though indeed there would have been no Revolution at all without them. For those seeking an introduction to the topic, travel writer Tony Perrottet has made a credible addition.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeimy

    I learned a lot from this book, including how fickle U.S. audiences are, but I think its greatest lesson may be in the last paragraph. I don't know why the U.S. does not learn from its mistakes and continues to make decisions that have a negative impact on the countries it is allegedly trying to save from themselves. I learned a lot from this book, including how fickle U.S. audiences are, but I think its greatest lesson may be in the last paragraph. I don't know why the U.S. does not learn from its mistakes and continues to make decisions that have a negative impact on the countries it is allegedly trying to save from themselves.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt Slutzker

    I knew nothing about the Cuban Revolution, and Perrottet made it such a beautifully romantic endeavor about students with an ideal. Great read and it almost felt like short stories or essays. Very easy to be enraptured in each tale

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    Prior to listening to this book, all I knew of Fidel was the he was a communist. That’s really it. I had little knowledge of Cuba as a country, and certainly not anywhere near enough information about the revolution to have any particular opinions. Although being raised in the US, I’ve only ever heard Cuba and Fidel being discussed with negative connotations. Cuba Libre has opened my mind and done away with my ignorance. It’s a wild adventure from start to finish and extremely informative. It is Prior to listening to this book, all I knew of Fidel was the he was a communist. That’s really it. I had little knowledge of Cuba as a country, and certainly not anywhere near enough information about the revolution to have any particular opinions. Although being raised in the US, I’ve only ever heard Cuba and Fidel being discussed with negative connotations. Cuba Libre has opened my mind and done away with my ignorance. It’s a wild adventure from start to finish and extremely informative. It is also well researched, well-written, and SO hard to put down. The author inserts his own bias throughout, but it did not spoil my love for this book as I find myself in agreement with him anyway. Fidel will always be a controversial figure and for legitimate reasons, but since reading this and doing more research on my own (as this book is about the revolution specifically and not about Fidel’s time as leader of Cuba, I needed to do some extra reading), I realize he’s not quite the supervillain my country made him out to be. I’m not saying he’s an angel or some great leader, nor am I making light of his suppressive regime, but I think it’s important to acknowledge more than one side of a story. My only reason for four star instead of five has nothing to do with content, and purely for the fact that I found the narrator to be boring at times for such an exciting book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mickey Mantle

    The book reads like a suspense novel more than a history work. The successful revolutiion of Castro and his band of followers defied all odds. The reader still has little understanding of Fidel Castro as an individual, which obviously the author had kittle knowledge. Picking up the book, I had zero knowledge of the Castro revolution. None really of Che Guevara other than t-shirts. The author's style is a bit of hero worshiiper, but still an entertaining read. The book reads like a suspense novel more than a history work. The successful revolutiion of Castro and his band of followers defied all odds. The reader still has little understanding of Fidel Castro as an individual, which obviously the author had kittle knowledge. Picking up the book, I had zero knowledge of the Castro revolution. None really of Che Guevara other than t-shirts. The author's style is a bit of hero worshiiper, but still an entertaining read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mica

    This was a great book! Highly recommend! I wanted to read because i am trying to bone up on my handsome husband's cultural history. This was a great book! Highly recommend! I wanted to read because i am trying to bone up on my handsome husband's cultural history.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kaleb

    Tremendous, the best written non-fiction book I’ve ever read

  10. 4 out of 5

    Charles Bookman

    Here is the breathtaking, world-shaking story of how a band of dreamers ousted a corrupt, venal, malignant despot. This is a fast-paced, entertaining and authoritative account, replete with larger than life characters, some heroic, others not so much. Read more at bookmanreader.blogspot.com .

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caren-Ann Monty

    A terrific piece of storytelling reveals a fascinating bit of history. The book, which is written with the grace and fluidity of a novel, shines a light onto the characters and events that changed Cuba forever. What an enjoyable book. Each character is well drawn, and by the end of the book I felt like I knew more about 1959, Che, Fidel and this important and improbable revolution that changed Cuba -- and the world -- forever.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dory Bertics

    A very good book that I highly recommend. Tells a story we Americans don’t know about and is well written and an enjoyable read. My main qualm with it is the lack of objectivity. The author clearly likes Fidel and disliked America’s role in the whole situation (which I agree with and think is true, America screwed up) but his writing somehow takes it to a level where I feel like I have to have my guard up. It feels a hint like propaganda. Perhaps this is my own personal weakness from being raise A very good book that I highly recommend. Tells a story we Americans don’t know about and is well written and an enjoyable read. My main qualm with it is the lack of objectivity. The author clearly likes Fidel and disliked America’s role in the whole situation (which I agree with and think is true, America screwed up) but his writing somehow takes it to a level where I feel like I have to have my guard up. It feels a hint like propaganda. Perhaps this is my own personal weakness from being raised in America on American propaganda, but I do feel like the book could be stronger in its point if it was less of a one sided attack on America. That being said I 100% recommend this book for anyone and everyone and I think it is incredibly important for those of us raised to think Cuba is just some silly pawn of the soviets. I have so much more respect for Cuba and less respect for America. So if you want to learn and have your preconceived notions challenge, read it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    This is an extensively researched, well written account of the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of Batista. It is well written, reading more like a novel than non fiction. All of the main revolutionary characters are here as well as cameo appearances by some surprising individuals. The roll of the US meddling in and attempts to control not only Cuba, but other Latin American countries as well is also presented. I’m not a big fan of non fiction, but I really liked this book and would highly rec This is an extensively researched, well written account of the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of Batista. It is well written, reading more like a novel than non fiction. All of the main revolutionary characters are here as well as cameo appearances by some surprising individuals. The roll of the US meddling in and attempts to control not only Cuba, but other Latin American countries as well is also presented. I’m not a big fan of non fiction, but I really liked this book and would highly recommend it. It’s an incredible story!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    An improbable David vs Goliath story of a few thousand revolutionaries against the army of a U S backed brutal dictator. Interesting speculation on how the economic situation turned Cuba into a communist satellite, and the U S role in forcing Castro’s hand. Who knew that Castro was on the Ed Sullivan Show, post Elvis, and pre Beatles. An important and especially relevant read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Jennings

    David and goliath.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alan Hughes

    I have always had an interest in the Cuban revolution and have found that there is little good literature on the subject. It is surprisingly poorly covered; considering the impact it had at the time, and later through the missile crisis, when the world held it’s breath. The Cuban involvement in the war in Angola, and later the development of the Cuban pharmaceutical industry, have kept this relatively small nation in the centre of world affairs. Indeed, with the iconic status of its revolutionar I have always had an interest in the Cuban revolution and have found that there is little good literature on the subject. It is surprisingly poorly covered; considering the impact it had at the time, and later through the missile crisis, when the world held it’s breath. The Cuban involvement in the war in Angola, and later the development of the Cuban pharmaceutical industry, have kept this relatively small nation in the centre of world affairs. Indeed, with the iconic status of its revolutionary leaders, even when it has not been in the news, images of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara has adorned the chests and bedroom walls of the youth across the world. When I discovered this book in the library, again by chance, I am glad to say that this gap in my knowledge has been largely fixed. This book covers the history of the Cuban revolution from the early days of growing discontent through to the climax of seizing power. It sets the clash between Batista and Castro in the context of a longer struggle going back to the nineteenth century the struggles of Jose Marti and also reveals the unsavoury aspects of American policy in the region which helped fuel the fires. Although this is a history book, and makes a useful reference text, for the events of the period it is also a fast paced and racy narrative on this period. There are many details, from first-hand accounts, that bring the nature of the revolution to light. There are descriptions of the flukes and errors that changed history and scenes from the revolution that read like farce and would be difficult to believe were they not documented and true. Fidel’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (followed by a poodle fashion parade), Erroll Flynn’s role as a revolutionary war reporter on the front line and an on-air suicide unfortunately hidden due to a coffee advert are examples of the small scenarios which make this book fascinating and entertaining, as well as informative. It also serves useful task in reporting on the important roles played by women revolutionaries in the struggle. Women took great strides forward in leading, what was called, “The Revolution inside the Revolution“. These were not minor assisting roles but full roles of power and influence. Long before Betty Friedan and The National Organization for Women, these Cuban women were leading both politics and leading battalions into battle. In Cuba women such as Vilma Espín, Tete Puebla, and Celia Sánchez are remembered as heroes of the revolution, it is a shame that they are overshadowed abroad by the stature of their male fellow fighters. Hopefully, this book will help address this somewhat. The story of how 82 freedom fighters took a boat to Cuba to face 40,000 armed troops and went on to win the war is the core of this book. It shows that luck and serendipity, as well as timing and planning play their part. But it also shows the characters of the main players and reveals, yet again, that passionate individuals with purpose and determination can change the world. This is perhaps why this is such an enjoyable book to read as it shows the best that people can achieve when they strive.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Prasan

    An incredible and intimate look at the Cuban revolution. Perrottet manages to tell the story of a major historical event almost as if it were a fictional tale, by delving deep into the personal details of the lives of the revolutionaries - their motivations, the reasons for their resentment, and their passions. It is hard to read this book and not fall in love, at least a little, with the revolutionaries themselves. Perrottet documents not just the major battles towards the end of the revolution, An incredible and intimate look at the Cuban revolution. Perrottet manages to tell the story of a major historical event almost as if it were a fictional tale, by delving deep into the personal details of the lives of the revolutionaries - their motivations, the reasons for their resentment, and their passions. It is hard to read this book and not fall in love, at least a little, with the revolutionaries themselves. Perrottet documents not just the major battles towards the end of the revolution, when momentum was firmly with Castro's rebel army, but also their initial failures and misadventures, giving the entire story a strongly David-and-Goliath feel. Something I found personally interesting and relevant to the present day was that the initial American public sympathy was firmly behind Castro and his rebels, and his band was treated as minor celebrities on their first arrival in the US: It was only after he succeeded, and attempted land reform, that major American companies lobbied Congress to turn against him (they were aided of course, by playing on the Russophobia of ordinary Americans, a tragic aspect of American culture that continues on to this day). Notably, land reform was something the US had itself successfully implemented in Korea and Japan (redistributing land from Korean and Japanese feudal landlords is fine of course, but redistributing it from American companies crosses the socialist rubicon). Overall, great book. Inspirational, funny, and romantic.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Solid "little" book on the Cuban revolution. The cover had a whimsical pop culture look and seemed to promise a book that wouldn't take itself to seriously. I figured what a great place to start on the subject, one that wouldn't cast aspersions on its subjects or enemies for that matter. What we have here is a well laid out account of the Cuban revolution front to back. What a story it is. Fascinating not so much the story itself but how these characters themselves were pop icons at a time when Solid "little" book on the Cuban revolution. The cover had a whimsical pop culture look and seemed to promise a book that wouldn't take itself to seriously. I figured what a great place to start on the subject, one that wouldn't cast aspersions on its subjects or enemies for that matter. What we have here is a well laid out account of the Cuban revolution front to back. What a story it is. Fascinating not so much the story itself but how these characters themselves were pop icons at a time when your star would shine brighter then ever before with the advancement of TV and magazines. Fidel and Che were rock stars by all accounts during this time. But like most rock stars Che and Castro chose to burn out instead of fade away. The Cuban revolution also turned out to be their one hit wonder, but it was just a really big hit. Cuba in the late 50's must've been some place to experience, the players and cameos seem ripe for a Clooney movie. Honestly, many times I was more interested in the side characters that came and went, the Yankee comandantes, Errol Flynn, and of course Hemingway. While this is not a deep read, it's more then a good starting point and will get you a solid foundation of all that happened and who was involved while consistently staying interesting. I give this book 4 daiquiris out of 5. Grab it if you want a light and fun historical read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kay Chandler

    I enjoyed this book and learned a lot more about Cuban history and politics than I knew before. It was an easy read with a lot of colorful anecdotes about Fidel, Raul, Che, Celia, Vilma, Camilo and all. While it was entertaining and interesting, it seemed to look at it through rose colored glasses without much critical thought about the revolution or the undercurrents in society or the Cuban people’s perspective. Maybe it’s just the type of book it had to be to make it approachable and entertain I enjoyed this book and learned a lot more about Cuban history and politics than I knew before. It was an easy read with a lot of colorful anecdotes about Fidel, Raul, Che, Celia, Vilma, Camilo and all. While it was entertaining and interesting, it seemed to look at it through rose colored glasses without much critical thought about the revolution or the undercurrents in society or the Cuban people’s perspective. Maybe it’s just the type of book it had to be to make it approachable and entertaining, but I’d have liked to know more from a balanced perspective. All that said, and in the current political environment, it really makes me question US self-righteousness in its interactions with other countries. Maybe we should figure out our own business first.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    I thoroughly enjoyed Cuba Libre! although it took me ages to read it. Like another reviewer I do have questions about the sometimes adulatory language toward Fidel. At times, it almost seems fawning. That being said it was eyeopening to learn that Castro was not leaning heavily toward communism during the revolution which is contrary to what we were taught in school in the 1960s. According to the author, it was after Batista fled and the U.S. turned its back on Cuba and instituted embargoes that I thoroughly enjoyed Cuba Libre! although it took me ages to read it. Like another reviewer I do have questions about the sometimes adulatory language toward Fidel. At times, it almost seems fawning. That being said it was eyeopening to learn that Castro was not leaning heavily toward communism during the revolution which is contrary to what we were taught in school in the 1960s. According to the author, it was after Batista fled and the U.S. turned its back on Cuba and instituted embargoes that Fidel turned toward the Soviet Union for help. And it was no surprise to me that Batista was a repressive dictator but learning the gory details of his time as Cuba's leader and the US support of him was disheartening. That was also not a surprise since we have supported dictators around the world over and over again. Definitely worth a read and especially about the role of women within this revolutionary movement. Highly recommended.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dergrossest

    I guess the Cuban revolution seems like a lot of fun when you only focus on the scrappy rebels toppling a ruthless U.S.-backed dictator against all odds and forget about the post-revolution dictatorship, the brutal quashing of all dissent and the cold-blooded murder of political opponents. Yes, I know that the Communist Castro brothers helped improve literacy and expand medical care, and that harsh U.S. sanctions stunted the economy, but I just can’t forget their crimes, their betrayal of the fr I guess the Cuban revolution seems like a lot of fun when you only focus on the scrappy rebels toppling a ruthless U.S.-backed dictator against all odds and forget about the post-revolution dictatorship, the brutal quashing of all dissent and the cold-blooded murder of political opponents. Yes, I know that the Communist Castro brothers helped improve literacy and expand medical care, and that harsh U.S. sanctions stunted the economy, but I just can’t forget their crimes, their betrayal of the freedoms their supporters thought they were fighting for or that some animals were more equal than others during their reign. This book does a grave disservice to readers and history by failing to address these important issues.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    An extremely entertaining history of the Cuban revolution that manages to avoid both American Imperial propaganda and reflexive leftist agitprop. Lively, thorough and containing a truly excellent references and methodology section at the end, Mr. Perrottet manages to convey just how much fun the revolution was--the sense of hope, the camaraderie, the odd and ironic moments a folk revolution is likely to produce. Far from being the typical grim, blood-and-guts tale of a revolutionary war, this pr An extremely entertaining history of the Cuban revolution that manages to avoid both American Imperial propaganda and reflexive leftist agitprop. Lively, thorough and containing a truly excellent references and methodology section at the end, Mr. Perrottet manages to convey just how much fun the revolution was--the sense of hope, the camaraderie, the odd and ironic moments a folk revolution is likely to produce. Far from being the typical grim, blood-and-guts tale of a revolutionary war, this provides insight into how a small group of ragtag academics, laborers and middle class professionals can whip themselves into shape and prevail against overwhelming odds. Quite enjoyable.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marc Efron

    A GOOD BOOK THAT FALLS Short. This book’s strength is that it tells the story of the Cuban revolution, focusing on the small number of rebel’s and the improbability of the Castro victory. Although it is a good read, it is “thin” in my opinion. The Gjelten book on the Bacardi family is a better tale of this era IMO. Also, there are some editorial glitches that bothered me, and the author is at times flip and tries to be too cute, which detracts from the book. Good, entertaining read, but a bit un A GOOD BOOK THAT FALLS Short. This book’s strength is that it tells the story of the Cuban revolution, focusing on the small number of rebel’s and the improbability of the Castro victory. Although it is a good read, it is “thin” in my opinion. The Gjelten book on the Bacardi family is a better tale of this era IMO. Also, there are some editorial glitches that bothered me, and the author is at times flip and tries to be too cute, which detracts from the book. Good, entertaining read, but a bit underwhelming.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Teasley

    4.5 - I truly enjoyed this book and got a couple book recommendations for further reading in the process. The book reads almost like nonfiction, allowing it to be accessible to those who typically steer clear of the genre. I felt it could have given a little more information about Camilo Cienfuegos and a couple other revolutionaries. I found the choice to use French expressions a bit odd as, for some, there are Spanish equivalents. Highly recommend to anyone with an interest in Cuban History!

  25. 4 out of 5

    John

    Great underdog story. The ending was pretty annoying. The author frames basically everything after 1960 roughly as "and then everything turned bad for Cuba." The author briefly mentions the Bay of Pigs, CIA backed anti-Castro militias, *The Embargo* but doesn't really dig in at all into how that affected Cuba's political, social and economic situation. He just vaguely says things are bad, but in the next sentence says Cuba has an education and healthcare system that rivals the best in the world. Great underdog story. The ending was pretty annoying. The author frames basically everything after 1960 roughly as "and then everything turned bad for Cuba." The author briefly mentions the Bay of Pigs, CIA backed anti-Castro militias, *The Embargo* but doesn't really dig in at all into how that affected Cuba's political, social and economic situation. He just vaguely says things are bad, but in the next sentence says Cuba has an education and healthcare system that rivals the best in the world. Make it make sense.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    A great account of the Cuban Revolution. Very entertaining. Turns out that the Revolution started as a complete fiasco and thus a failure. It ultimately succeeded only because of Fidel's and Che's determination to overthrow a dictator. The book probably will change Americans' view of Castro, particularly because he was not a Communist during the Revolution but essentially was pushed there afterwards by the U.S. government. A great account of the Cuban Revolution. Very entertaining. Turns out that the Revolution started as a complete fiasco and thus a failure. It ultimately succeeded only because of Fidel's and Che's determination to overthrow a dictator. The book probably will change Americans' view of Castro, particularly because he was not a Communist during the Revolution but essentially was pushed there afterwards by the U.S. government.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Godwin

    This was featured at my local library. Have always had some interest in popular versions of the revolution(Godfather II, Telex from Cuba) and picked this up on spec. To my surprise, I couldn’t put it down. Well-written and researched, surreal yet true. Highly recommend. I had never heard of this author and now plan to seek out his other books.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Hull

    A real page-turner of a non-fiction book, properly researched in Cuba. It contains some fascinating anecdotes about the against-all-odds triumph of the Fidel Castro-led rebel insurrection against Fulgencio Batista's U.S.-backed regime in Cuba between December 1956 and December 1958. Tony Perrottet really knows how to bring history alive. A real page-turner of a non-fiction book, properly researched in Cuba. It contains some fascinating anecdotes about the against-all-odds triumph of the Fidel Castro-led rebel insurrection against Fulgencio Batista's U.S.-backed regime in Cuba between December 1956 and December 1958. Tony Perrottet really knows how to bring history alive.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marnie

    I could actually be talked into giving this a 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed it. The history is fascinating. The writing is great. It's fast paced and doesn't read like a boring textbook. We always have been taught about how bad the Cuban Revolution was so this book definitely gives the rest of the story. Well worth the time. I could actually be talked into giving this a 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed it. The history is fascinating. The writing is great. It's fast paced and doesn't read like a boring textbook. We always have been taught about how bad the Cuban Revolution was so this book definitely gives the rest of the story. Well worth the time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve Wegman

    The story of the Cuban revolution. Fascinating in the bumbling, the lucky circumstances, the determination of the rebels, the incompetence and corruption of the Batista government. Sad in that it didn’t need to happen and probably wouldn’t had not the US supported Batista, although the US had so much control over Cuba that the aftermath in any form would have been hard on US interests.

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