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“Without Fidel is news between hard covers by a relentless reporter who writes like a dream."  Tom Wolfe

 

Click here to read Part Two of Without Fidel: The Fidel Obsession

The New York Times

Another Day, Another Claim That Castro Is Really Dead

2012 October 19

Associated Press

FIDEL CASTRO, EL HOMBRE QUE NUNCA MUERE

2012 September 1

Associated Press

Raul Castro's 81st a Reminder of Aging Leadership

2012 June 2

Associated Press

ZERO FANFARE IN CUBA FOR INTEL AGENT'S RETURN

2012 April 12

KPCC

MARLINS' MANAGER "VERY, VERY, VERY SORRY" FOR CASTRO FAUX PAS

2012 April 10

The New York Times

THE STOMACHS OF STRONGMEN

2011 August 21

The Huffington Post

MIAMI'S CUBAN EXILES

2011 December 1

Associated Press

FIDEL CASTRO SILENCE SPARKS SPECULATION ON HEALTH

2011 September 2

O Estado de S.Paulo

AS VISCERAS DOS DITADORE

2011 August 23

 

                         Publishers Weekly

 

Pick of the Week**

11/16/2009

 


A new examination of Fidel Castro uses a wealth of access to produce a thorough history of the communist dictator and his times.

 Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington
Ann Louise Bardach. Scribner, $28 (352p) ISBN 9781416551508


Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s phoenix-like return from a near death experience in 2006 is a fitting introduction to this exhaustively researched account of one of the world’s last communist leaders. Castro’s quixotic quest to outlive most of his comrades provides fresh fodder for the “Castro obit industry,” and investigative reporter Bardach (Cuba Confidential) obliges with graphic accounts of Castro’s numerous health issues. She also reveals many previously unknown family stories, from the illegitimate offspring who’ve fled Castro’s repressive rule, to his relationship with his younger brother and successor Raúl (a “more mindful and empathetic” man).

As titillating as these personal details are, Bardach doesn’t skimp on the politics or the day-to-day obstacles of Cuban civilians living in grinding poverty. Bardach opens the window wide on the “diplomatic train wreck” that is U.S.-Cuban relations, including Miami’s exile community, anti-Castro Beltway establishment members, and the history of U.S. attempts to remove Castro from power. Bardach also exposes hypocrisy in the American anti-terrorism campaign, which seem to give a pass to anyone actively plotting against Castro. Bardach’s unmatched access to Castro and other major players makes this a thorough account of a long-lived world figure who, admired or reviled, is an undoubtedly fascinating subject.

 

"Without Fidel is superb -- a phenomenally enlightening, engaging read." Eason Jordan, former CNN Chief News Executive

                                                                    *****

BEST BOOKS OF 2009

Reviewers' Choices for Most Intriguing Books

The Miami Herald  December 20, 2009

We ask the question annually: What were the best books we read this year? We are, as usual, daunted by the task of deciding, because one person can only read so much and still eat, sleep and keep up with the latest developments on Mad Men.

We read a lot, though. Laughed (at Nick Hornby's delightful Juliet, Naked, deceptively breezy and funny but as sharply observant about gender differences and squabbles as any novel out there). Cried (like babies, at the hard-won wisdom in the final lines of Lorrie Moore's wrenching A Gate at the Stairs). Groaned (at the increasingly ridiculous characters, plot devices and not-so-intriguing secrets of Dan Brown's tiresome The Lost Symbol). And then cried again because so many people bought it anyway.

In lieu of a definitive list -- because even a small group of reviewers can't get to every single book -- here are the books Miami Herald reviewers found most intriguing in 2009........

Without Fidel by Ann Louise Bardach: Reporter and Cuba expert examines the fallout of Fidel Castro's semi-retirement in Havana, Washington, D.C. and Miami, which she calls ``the Cuban triangle of capitals.''

http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/arts/books/story/1389152.html

                                                                      ****

Foreign Affairs   April 29, 2010

Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington

by Ann Louise Bardach

Reviewed by Richard Feingberg May/June 2010

 

Fidel Castro outwitted ten U.S. presidents and, stubbornly defying the Grim Reaper, is now watching vigilantly over his younger brother and "relief pitcher," Raúl, who faces the 11th. Bardach, a journalist, skillfully takes the reader back and forth between Havana and Miami, exposing the intricate webs of intrigue, spying, and violence that characterize Cuban politics on both sides of the Florida Strait. Her research is indefatigable (she took 12 trips to the island); her access, remarkably wide; and her opinions, centrist and considered. Particularly interesting are her mappings of the multiple extended families of the Castro brothers (including Fidel's ten children). Bardach paints a rather positive portrait of Raúl, as a man who, compared with his older brother, is less charismatic and more institutional, and perhaps relatively more pragmatic. But unless U.S. policy changes more quickly, she warns, Washington will be poorly positioned to enter the competition between Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and an energized Brazil for influence in a post-Fidel Cuba.

Bardach, a journalist, skillfully takes the reader back and forth between Havana and Miami, exposing the intricate webs of intrigue, spying, and violence that characterize Cuban politics on both sides of the Florida Strait.

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/66364/ann-louise-bardach/without-fidel-a-death-foretold-in-miami-havana-and-washington

                                                                      ****

                                           

                                               Associated Press  October 5, 2009

                                   Without Fidel: A Compelling Cuba Primer

"Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington"

(Scribner Books, 278 pages, $28), by Ann Louise Bardach

 Review by AP Hispanic Affairs writer Laura Wides-Munoz

This fast-paced primer on Fidel Castro and the future of Cuba by veteran journalist Ann Louise Bardach offers a handful of new details into the communist leader's illness, his wives and youth. But the book's strength lies in Bardach's ability to weave together a host of diverse sources, past and present, to create a compelling narrative for even a neophyte to all things Cuban.

Among the new tidbits: the former cigar-chomping Castro has frequently used an oxygen chamber; a doctor present the day Castro underwent a lifesaving colostomy said the Cuban leader cried several times after the operation; and Castro's first wife Myrta Diaz-Balart (whose fervently anti-Castro nephews represent South Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives) has frequently visited him since he fell ill in 2006. The book includes much speculation on both Fidel Castro's health, as well as the island's future.....

"Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana, and Washington" is divided into three parts, focusing on the life-threatening stomach illness that nearly killed Castro; an insider's view on the U.S. case against Cuban exile and accused terrorist, former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles; and finally a look at Cuba's new president, Castro's brother Raul.

Among the most interesting sections are Bardach's description of the U.S. government's attempts to force her to testify against Posada, whom she has interviewed extensively and who confessed to her that he was behind a string of 1997 hotel bombings in Havana. He later recanted but is still wanted in Venezuela and Cuba for those attacks, as well as a 1976 airliner bombing that killed 73 people.

Bardach insists "the Founding Fathers of the Constitution were quite clear that they did not intend for the government to be allowed to raid the news media for their work files. Most especially after they had bungled a case and destroyed crucial evidence. And that is exactly what happened in the case of Luis Posada."

But Bardach adds: "For my part, it raised a peculiar pickle: contemplating how far one should go to protect the civil liberties of an accused terrorist."

Bardach eventually turned over tapes of the Posada interviews to the federal government, and an FBI analysis captured incriminating statements he'd made that had previously been inaudible. Bardach is still hoping to avoid testifying in Posada's trial next year on immigration fraud charges.

Followers of Bardach's work may be disappointed to find much in the book a recap from previous articles and her acclaimed "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana," in which she traced the hostilities between the Castros and the Diaz-Balarts. This time, Bardach adds in the feud between the Castros and the Bush clan, who were major shareholders of a sugar company in Cuba before it was confiscated during the island's 1959 revolution.

Still, Bardach, like few other Cuba-watchers, is able to weave together the personal and the political, bringing to life the complex history of the tiny Caribbean Island and its decades-old feud with the world's superpower...  

                                                   ****                        

'Without Fidel is authoritative and insightful." Tracey Easton, Along the Malecon

                                    KIRKUS REVIEWS

CUBA CONFIDENTIAL: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana

Ann Louise Bardach

LINK

 (** starred review)

WITHOUT FIDEL: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington

Ann Louise Bardach

What will the world be like once Fidel Castro leaves it? Noted Cuba watcher Bardach (Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana, 2002, etc.) considers several scenarios in this excellent study.

The world has had a chance to ponder the problem for many years, from the earliest assassination attempts, courtesy of the CIA, to Fidel’s near-fatal bout of peritonitis in 2006. It is the latter episode with which Bardach opens her book, whose subtitle alludes to an oddly fitting novel by Castro’s friend Gabriel García Márquez. Even though Castro lay on death’s door for weeks, he seemingly proved stronger than death, having adopted a regime that shunned alcohol and tobacco and favored brown rice and tea and having committed himself to outlasting every one of his enemies.

Bardach’s early pages are peppered with references to those enemies, not least of them Forbes magazine, which reckoned the legendarily spartan Castro to be among the wealthiest dictators in the world. The author also reckons with Castro’s many successes, which include the self-evident fact that South America now abounds in nations that are left-leaning, friendly to Castro’s communist regime and disinclined to participate in any new version of the Cold War pitting Cuba against the United States.

Of course, Castro is no longer in power, formally, having transferred state rule to his brother Raúl—by Bardach’s account, Fidel’s rival—who has inaugurated modest reforms. Less modest are the changes pending under the Obama administration, which, apart from the difficult business of the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, appears to be willing to begin the processes of normalizing relations, including allowing travel and the transfer of funds to Cuba. This prospect gives the anti-Castro exile community in Miami—an important node in Bardach’s geography—fits, but even that is changing, as Castro acts out his final days as “Fidel the Wizard, hidden behind the curtain of Cuba’s Oz.”

Will the world be a better place without him? Bardach is evenhanded, but, she concludes, it will surely be different—and with no easy transition in sight.  

**

Excerpted in.....

The Daily Beast

CASTRO FAMILY VALUES

                    AND

THE DAY CASTRO WEPT

September 21, 2009

The Huffington Post

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT CUBA BE RID OF FIDEL

November 6, 2009

Gawker

PEREZ HILTON'S RUMORS OF FIDEL CASTRO'S DEATH

WERE GREATLY EXAGGERATED

November 2, 2009

Big Hollywood

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: "WITHOUT FIDEL"-

HOLLYWOOD'S USEFUL IDIOTS GO TO CUBA 

 

Cuba Absolutely

FROM PART ONE: WRITING HISTORY

Los Angeles Times

FIDEL'S  GRAND FADE-OUT

The Guardian

PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO TURNS 80

BUT CUBA IS NOT PROUD OF IT

 

Younger Castro Brother Turns 80

in Aging Regime

By Paul Haven

 

More Reviews....

The Miami Herald

REVIEW  'WITHOUT FIDEL': WHAT'S NEXT FOR CUBA?

November 15, 2009

The Santa Barbara Independent

CUBA SI! SUBPOENAS NO!

October 22, 2009

The Miami Herald CUBAN COLADA

AUTHOR: POSADA INFORMED ON BOSCH, OTHERS

October 8, 2009

Miami New Times

MIAMI BOOK FAIR: ANN LOUISE BARDACH ON FIDEL CASTRO'S DEATH

November 12, 2009

Miami-Dade Open Page

ANN LOUISE BARDACH SCORES A RAVE FOR HER NEW CUBA BOOK

October 6, 2009

The Miami Herald CUBAN COLADA

NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE RELEASES NEW CIA-POSADA DOCS

October 6, 2009

Progreso Weekly

A Cubaholic's Delight

2009 November 18

EFE

MEMORIAS, INTRIGA POLITICA Y SUPERACION ENTRE TITULOS MAS POPULARES DE 2009

Denver, 9 diciembre 2009 (EFE). Entre los libros más populares de 2009 escritos por y para latinos en EEUU se destaca el género de memorias de trasfondo político, al igual que títulos en las categorías de juveniles y autoayuda.


Por su parte, la temática cubana continúa dominando en diversas categorías, sobre todo, con la reciente publicación casi simultánea de dos libros que iluminan el medio siglo de la Cuba castrista.


En "Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana, and Washington" (Scribner) la destacada periodista Ann Louise Bardach combina historias personales y el análisis político en un intento de aproximarse a una visión más íntima del líder cubano.
Su libro navega hábilmente entre rumores e intrigas para abordar el tema de la enfermedad de Fidel Castro, la política de su hermano Raúl y el caso del agente anticastrista Luis Posada Carrile
s...



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