Fidel Castro: A Biography

Fidel Castro: A Biography


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Fidel Castro: A Biography by Volker Skierka

Fidel Castro is one of the most interesting and controversialpersonalities of our time – he has become a myth and an icon.He was the first Cuban Caudillo – the man who freed hiscountry from dependence on the USA and who lead his people torediscover their national identity and pride.

Castro has outlived generations of American presidents andSoviet leaders. He has survived countless assassination attempts bythe CIA, the Mafia, and Cubans living in exile. He has become oneof the greatest politicians of the 20th Century. His biography, andthe history of his country exemplify the tensions between East andWest, North and South, rich and poor.

As Castro's life draws to a close, the question as to what willbecome of Cuba is more important that ever. Will Castro open Cubato economic reform and democratization, or stick to his old slogansocialism or death?

In this remarkable, up-to-date reconstruction of Castro's life,Volker Skierka addresses these questions and provides an account ofthe economic, social, and political history of Cuba since Castro'schildhood. He draws on a number of little-known sources, includingmaterial from the East German communist archives on Cuba, whichwere until recently inaccessible.

This is an exciting, painstakingly researched, and authortiativeaccount of the life of one of the most extraordinary politicalfigures of our time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780745640815
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/18/2006
Pages: 488
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Volker Skierka is a journalist and author based in Germany.

Table of Contents

List of plates.

A Note of Thanks.


Preface to the English Edition.

1. The Heroic Myth.

2. The Young Fidel.

Among Jesuits.

Among gangsters.

3. The Young Revolutionary.

Storm and stress: Moncada.

“Che”, the Argentinean.

Stormy crossing on the Granma.

A guerillero in the Sierra Maestra.

321 against 10,000.

4. The Young Victor.

Communists and “barbudos”.

1,500 revolutionary laws.

5. Old Enemies, New Friends.

The great powers at the gates.

The CIA, the Mafia and the Bay of Pigs.


“Mongoose” and “Anadyr”.

Thirteen days on the brink of a third world war.

Three gamblers.

6. The Long March with Che.

Moscow, Beijing, and Havana.

The new man.

The demise of Che.

7. Bad Times, Good Times.

War and peace with Moscow.

Ten million tons.

Into the Third World.

The revolution devours its children.

8. Alone Against All.

Exodus to Florida.

Rectificacion and perestroika.

The Soviet imperium collapses.

The brother’s power.

War economy in peacetime.

9. The Eternal Revolutionary.

Class Struggle on a dollar basis.

Cuba and the global policeman.

Castro, God and the Pope.

Freedom or “socialismo tropical”.

10. Don Quixote and History.




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