Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary

Jonathan M. Hansen. Simon & Schuster, $35 (496p) ISBN 978-1-4767-3247-3
Hansen (Guantánamo: An American History) consulted a wide array of Castro associates and the Castro archives to produce this skillful volume, which serves as a corrective to caricatures of the Cuban who was “a rarity in that he wanted for others the privileges that he enjoyed.” Hansen starts slowly with the life of Castro’s father, Ángel, a penniless Spanish immigrant who rose to modest wealth through hard work, before turning to Fidel’s youth and his work toward revolution While the early chapters can feel overfull of minutiae, they fulfill Hansen’s goal of conveying Castro’s character—charismatic, generous, headstrong, and complex. The narrative picks up—with courtroom drama and military action aplenty—as Castro becomes politically active, leading a failed assault on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba in 1953; endures months of imprisonment on the Isle of Pines; and leads the revolution to success in 1959 (despite interference from “the U.S. government [which] appeared increasingly determined to bring Castro’s insurrection to a halt”). Quotes from family (including Fidel’s brother Raúl), friends, revolutionaries (such as Che Guevara), and rivals enrich the portrait. This is sure to become the standard on Castro’s early life. Illus. Agent: Wendy Strothman, the Strothman Agency. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/26/2019
Release date: 06/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-4767-3249-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5414-3610-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4945-4145-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-987185-90-4
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