Cover image for Fidel Castro : a biography
Fidel Castro : a biography
Skierka, Volker, 1952-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Fidel Castro. English
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; Malden, MA : Polity Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 440 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
The heroic myth -- The young Fidel -- Among Jesuits -- Among gangsters -- The young revolutionary -- Moncada : storm and stress -- "Che", the Argentinean -- Stormy crossing on the "Granma" -- A guerrillero in the Sierra Maestra -- Against 10,000 -- The young victor -- Communists and "barbudos" -- 1,500 revolutionary laws -- Old enemies, new friends -- The great powers at the gates -- The CIA, the Mafia, and the Bay of Pigs -- Fidelismo -- "Mongoose" and "Anadyr"-- Three gamblers -- The long march with Che -- Moscow, Beijing, and Havana -- The new man -- The demise of Che -- Bad times, good times -- War and peace with Moscow -- Ten million tons -- Into the Third World -- The revolution devours its children -- Alone against all -- Exodus to Florida -- Rectificacin and Perestroika -- The Soviet imperium collapses -- The brother's power.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1788.22.C3 S5413 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F1788.22.C3 S5413 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Fidel Castro is one of the most interesting and controversial personalities of our time - he has become a myth and an icon. He was the first Cuban Caudillo - the man who freed his country from dependence on the USA and who lead his people to rediscover their national identity and pride.

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

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

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

This is an exciting, painstakingly researched, and authortiative account of the life of one of the most extraordinary political figures of our time.

Author Notes

Volker Skierka is a journalist and author based in Germany.

Table of Contents

List of Platesp. ix
A Note of Thanksp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Preface to the English Editionp. xiv
1 The Heroic Mythp. 1
2 The Young Fidelp. 5
Among Jesuitsp. 5
Among gangstersp. 20
3 The Young Revolutionaryp. 31
Storm and stress: Moncadap. 31
"Che," the Argentineanp. 40
Stormy crossing on the Granmap. 43
A guerrillero in the Sierra Maestrap. 48
321 against 10,000p. 57
4 The Young Victorp. 68
Communists and "barbudos"p. 68
1,500 revolutionary lawsp. 78
5 Old Enemies, New Friendsp. 91
The great powers at the gatesp. 91
The CIA, the Mafia, and the Bay of Pigsp. 100
Fidelismop. 114
"Mongoose" and "Anadyr"p. 124
Thirteen days on the brink of a third world warp. 131
Three gamblersp. 144
6 The Long March with Chep. 154
Moscow, Beijing, and Havanap. 154
The new manp. 160
The demise of Chep. 167
7 Bad Times, Good Timesp. 180
War and peace with Moscowp. 180
Ten million tonsp. 192
Into the Third Worldp. 200
The revolution devours its childrenp. 213
8 Alone against Allp. 226
Exodus to Floridap. 226
Rectificacion and perestroikap. 236
The Soviet imperium collapsesp. 255
The brother's powerp. 271
War economy in peacetimep. 282
9 The Eternal Revolutionaryp. 294
Class struggle on a dollar basisp. 294
Cuba and the global policemanp. 310
Castro, God, and the Popep. 333
Freedom or "socialismo tropical"p. 352
10 Don Quixote and Historyp. 366
Notesp. 380
Bibliographyp. 411
Indexp. 426