Havana Before Castro: When Cuba was a Tropical Playground

Havana Before Castro: When Cuba was a Tropical Playground

by Peter Moruzzi
     
 

Through vintage and contemporary photographs, brochures, postcards, and artifacts evocative of time and place, Havana Before Castro tells the story of the city that was the most popular exotic destination for Americans during the forty years between World War I and Castro's revolution.

See how Havana evolved from America's Prohibition haven and rich man's

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Overview

Through vintage and contemporary photographs, brochures, postcards, and artifacts evocative of time and place, Havana Before Castro tells the story of the city that was the most popular exotic destination for Americans during the forty years between World War I and Castro's revolution.

See how Havana evolved from America's Prohibition haven and rich man's playground to a heady blend of glittering nightclubs, outrageous cabarets, all-night bars, and backstreet brothels.

Visit Havana's seamy Shanghai Theatre as well as its glamorous Tropicana, Montmartre, and Sans Souci nightclubs.

Linger at La Floridita -- the cradle of the daiquiri cocktail (one of Hemingway's favorite watering holes) -- rub elbows with Frank Sinatra at Sloppy Joe's Bar, and learn why Cuban cigars remain the world's most highly prized.

Follow the parade of corrupt presidents who, along with American mobsters such a Meyer Lansky, welcomed the mass tourism that led to Havana becoming a tropical Vegas swirling in a haze of rum and cigars, backed by a conga beat.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423603672
Publisher:
Smith, Gibbs Publisher
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
583,958
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface 6

Acknowledgments 8

Prologue 9

Introduction 10

From Spanish Colony to Cuban Republic 12

Sugar, Rum, and Cigars 24

Havana between the World Wars 34

The Tragedy of Cuban Politics 54

Cuba's Postwar Tourist Explosion 64

Drinking, Dining, and Dancing 78

Tropicana 106

Havana at Night 124

Life as a Habanero 140

Cuba's Incredible Music Scene 158

Havana and the Mob 170

Havana Riviera 182

Habana Hilton 202

Havana's Other Fabulous Hotels 220

Havana Modern 234

New Year's 1958 and Beyond 244

Bibliography 252

Index 254

Photo Credits 256

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