Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause

by Tom Gjelten
Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause

by Tom Gjelten


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In this widely hailed book, NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten fuses the story of the Bacardi family and their famous rum business with Cuba's tumultuous experience over the last 150 years to produce a deeply entertaining historical narrative. The company Facundo Bacardi launched in Cuba in 1862 brought worldwide fame to the island, and in the decades that followed his Bacardi descendants participated in every aspect of Cuban life. With his intimate account of their struggles and adventures across five generations, Gjelten brings to life the larger story of Cuba's fight for freedom, its tortured relationship with America, the rise of Fidel Castro, and the violent division of the Cuban nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143116325
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/25/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 231,448
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tom Gjelten is a veteran correspondent for National Public Radio on international issues and a regular panelist on the PBS program Washington Week. His reporting from Bosnia won him George Polk and Robert F. Kennedy awards. He is the author of Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his family.

What People are Saying About This

Ronald Steel

With a novelist's sense of drama and a historian's understanding of the social forces that shape our lives, Tom Gjelten has captured vividly -- through the chronicle of a powerful family's fortunes -- one of the great political dramas of our time. (Ronald Steel, author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century)

Louis A. Perez Jr.

Contained within family genealogy are often found profound insights into the history of an entire people. The Bacardís represent one such family. Gjelten has fashioned a splendid prism through which to cast new light on the human dimensions of the Cuban past. The epochal transitions of Cuban national formation are experienced through successive generations of Bacardís, revealing the complex ways that a people are overtaken by the forces of their own creation. Anyone with an interest in Cuban history–and a fondness for Cuban rum–will find the Bacardí family history irresistible. (Louis A. Perez, Jr., J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Kai Bird

A marvelous blend of biography and vivid history. This book will surely become essential reading to understanding both Cuba's tragic past and the island's post-Castro future. A stunning achievement from a versatile journalist. (Kai Bird, co-author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning biography, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)

From the Publisher

"The Bacardi liquor story is every bit as engaging as Cuba's tumultuous political history, and both narrative strands are inexorably intertwined."
-The Washington Post

"A gripping saga that tells us just as much about human nature and the struggle between power and freedom as it does about Bacardi's transformation from a fledgling business into the world's top family-owned distiller."
-The Wall Street Journal

"It's hard to imagine that any [Cuban history] is as enjoyable . . . as smooth and refreshing as a well-made daiquiri."
-Barry Gewen, The New York Times

Jim Stavridis

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba explores and illuminates the story of our nearest and largest Caribbean island neighbor in an utterly unique and fundamentally revealing way. Tom Gjelten has written a book that is a ‘must read' for scholars, policy makers, and indeed anyone interested in the long, hard journey of Cuba -- and for what will happen there next. A brilliant job! (Admiral Jim Stavridis, U.S. Navy, Commander, U.S. Southern Command)

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