The Americano: Fighting with Castro for Cuba's Freedom [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Why do I fight here in this land so foreign to my own? Why did I come here far from my home and family?…Is it because I seek adventure? No…I am here because I believe that the most important thing for free men to do is to protect the freedom of others."
—William Morgan, in a letter to Herbert Matthews at the New York Times

When William Morgan was twenty-two years old, he was working as a high school janitor in Toledo Ohio. Seven years later, ...
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The Americano: Fighting with Castro for Cuba's Freedom

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Overview

"Why do I fight here in this land so foreign to my own? Why did I come here far from my home and family?…Is it because I seek adventure? No…I am here because I believe that the most important thing for free men to do is to protect the freedom of others."
—William Morgan, in a letter to Herbert Matthews at the New York Times

When William Morgan was twenty-two years old, he was working as a high school janitor in Toledo Ohio. Seven years later, in 1958, he walked into a Rebel camp in the Cuban Jungle to join the revolutionaries in their fight to overthrow the corrupt Cuban president, Fulgencio Batista. They were wary of the broad-shouldered, blond-haired, blue-eyed americano but Morgan's dedication and passion, his military skill and charisma, led him to become a chief comandante in Castro's army—he was the only foreigner to hold such a rank, with the exception of Che Guevera.

Vicious battles in the jungles were followed by victorious revelry in the cities. Morgan married a Cuban beauty. He single-handedly thwarted the Dominican Republic's attempt to overthrow Castro. And he was chosen to work with Castro and other high ranking Rebels to improve the quality of life for all people. This man who had lived under the radar in America was now a Cuban hero on the watch lists of several governments, all of whom wondered whose side he was really on.

It all ended in 1961, when, at age thirty-two, Morgan was executed by firing squad, at the hands of Fidel Castro.

Journalist Aran Shetterly takes us back to an era when democracy could have flourished in Cuba. He interviewed Morgan's friends and family and former Cuban Rebels, and examined FBI and CIA documents in search of the truth. What emerged was the true story of a young man who had never fit in but finally found his place in the world by fighting another country's war.
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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
"The Americano's strength lies in explaining how the three anti-Batista forces constantly jockeyed for supremacy and influence . . . . Shetterly nicely weaves FBI, CIA and State Department files on Morgan into his narrative."
Washington Post Book World
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565128521
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 8/10/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,213,562
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Aran Shetterly attended Harvard College and the University of Southern Maine, where he completed a master's degree in American studies. He is on the board of the Americans Who Tell the Truth organization and the Union of Maine Visual Artists, for which he conceived, organized, and ran an exchange between artists from Maine and Cuba. He lives in Mexico, where he and his wife founded Inside Mexico, an English-language newspaper.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2009

    A must read for those interested in the Cuban revolution.

    This book is unique in many different levels. The current history of the Cuban revolution as told by the Cuban government has been edited, chewed up and digested for the consumption of the Cuban people. This book tells the story of one of those edited chapters.


    William Morgan was one of only two foreigners who fought for Cuba's freedom and attained the rank of Commander, the other was Ernesto Che Guevara. His story was one that had to be told, not only for Morgan and his family, but also for those who lost their lives fighting in the mountains of the Escambray Sierra, and those who died facing the barrels of Fidel Castro's wrath.


    The author does an amazing research on Morgan's life and his re-birth as a revolutionary. The research itself must have been an adventure, since the topic is still tabooed in the island. Morgan's revolutionary history reads like the best Hollywood action flick, only that the truth is much better than any fiction.


    I loved the book, it was exactly what I was looking for when I first started looking for more information about William Morgan. It is also the ONLY book to date, which attempts to gather the truth of what happened to Morgan in Cuba. It's also one of the few books which talks about the history of the SFNE (Segundo Frente Nacional del Escambray). If you are interested in Cuba's revolution history, the events after the triumph of the Revolution, or if you are looking for a great adventure book where free men chose to fight for the freedom of others, then look no further, this is it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2012

    Highly recommended, fast paced adventure into history

    This review is from: The Americano: Fighting with Castro for Cuba's Freedom (Hardcover), recently paraphrased in a New York Times article in June of 2012, and feened by George Clooney as a possible movie. But read the book before it's messed up in a movie.
    This novel 'The Americano' is so deep it's like a salt mine. Let me prove my point. He was more of a legend than a person when his exploits were first told of by the Cuban people. Americans didn't know if he existed or not until he himself wrote a letter to Herbert Matthews of the 'New York Times' entitled, Why am I Here?' He drew the first blood of the Revolution because his Spanish was so poor he misunderstood the orders of his Commander Faure Chomon ( who was a bit of a psychic) had given that morning. For those who don't believe in fate this book may change your mind. He was born in Toledo Ohio a misfit from a good family who got involved with the Mob in his early years. In the 40's he was into labor organizing on the docks. During this time period Toledo was an R&R town so there was a lot of illegal activity because of the easy money. When Morgan our protagonist was five years old, the bootlegger, Jack Kennedy the Catholic 'Robin Hood' was murdered there, an I'll bet that Myer Lanksy was there also. He, in the short time he was in Cuba, met everyone who would control his fate as well as that of Cuba. He was as Shakespeare says," Life's but a walking shadow", (a poor player
    that struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more. It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.) Morgan and John F Kennedy were killed about the same time, and due to the President's assassination Morgans story was buried. He was born the same year as Ernesto "CHE" Guerva, their lives were almost mirrors. And upon meeting they were oil and water. His life was a linchpin to the revolution. His path crossed, Fidel Castro,Che, Menoyo, Max Lesnik, Edel Montiel, and various others. As Mister Shetterly says, Morgan saw the world in black and white, good and bad, Batista and Revolution. But there is a lot of territory between those extremes, which he never saw coming. I now see this revolutionary overthrow was more of a happenstance, the result of several units beating at the same wall, a creation of several fathers and only one daddy. A very interesting book well-worth your money, written for the common man such as myself to understand, a complex piece of history through the life of William Morgan his life's actions from 1957 through 1961, in three short years he and the world changed. "The Americano".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 21, 2012

    This review is from: The Americano: Fighting with Castro for Cu

    This review is from: The Americano: Fighting with Castro for Cuba's Freedom (Hardcover)
    This novel 'The Americano' is so deep it's like a salt mine. Let me prove my point. He was more of a legend than a person when his exploits were first told of by the Cuban people.
    Americans didn't know if he existed or not until he himself wrote a letter to Herbert Matthews of the 'New York Times' entitled, Why am I Here?' He drew the first blood of the Revolution because his Spanish was so poor he misunderstood the orders of his Commander Faure Chomon had given that morning. For those who don't believe in faith, He was born in Toledo Ohio a misfit of a good family who got involved with the Mob in his early years. In the 40's he was into labor organizing and the docks. During this time period Toledo was an R&R town so there was a lot of illegal activity because of the easy money. When Morgan our protagonist was five years, the bootlegger, Jack Kennedy the Catholic 'Robin Hood' was murdered there, an I'll bet that Myriam Lanky was there also.He in the short time he was in Cuba he met everyone who would control his fate he was as Shakespeare says," Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    that struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more. It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Morgan and John F Kennedy were killed about the same time, and due to the Presidents assignation Morgans story was buried. He was born the same year as Ernesto "CHE" Guerva, their lives were almost mirrors.And upon meeting they were oil and water. His life was a linchpin to the revolution his path crossed, Fidel Castro,Che, Menoyo, Max Lesnik,Edel Montiel, and various others. As Mister Shetterly says, Morgan see the world in black and white, good and bad, Batista and Revolution. But there is a lot of territory between those extremes and he never saw it coming.I now see this revolution was more of a happenstance, a creation of several fathers and only one daddy.Very interesting book well worth your money written for the common man such as myself to understand a complex piece of history through the life of William Morgan, "The Americano".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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