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Against All Hope Mass Market Paperback – June 12, 1987


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345344030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345344038
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dictatorships are synonymous with persecution, we are reminded by Vallardesspelling!!/corrected.gs who survived 22 years (1961-1983) of Cuban penal institutions as a political prisoner. Barbarity against prisoners was intensified after the Bay of Pigs invasion, and torture and degradation of inmatesmany of them former Castro supportersare recorded here along with Valladares'ssp?/corrected.gs own ordeals in the Havana Cabana fortress and hishis?/yes.gs forced labor during 10 years in the ill-famed Isla de Pinos, where he met his wifea fellow inmate's daughter. With the help of Amnesty International and Valladares's??/corrected.gs smuggled writings the author's wife eventually secured his release, and the couple now lives in Spain. Although broken in health, his indomitable spirit kept Valladares??/ok.gs alive even in the dread Boniato Prison for hardcore political resisters. International organizations, he alleges, are aware of conditions in Cuba, but are of little assistance. An unobtrusive translation enhances this affecting narrative. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish (translation) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Should be required reading.
lowdert@citrine.indstate.edu
If you ever wanted to know more about the horrible crimes that are still happening in Cuba's prisons, this is the book for you.
Hatuey
I read the hardback version about 13 years ago, and it was a very moving experience.
David C. Read

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By paulcahen@hotmail.com on August 11, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Armando Valladeres, a man not many people have heard of, wrote this account of the acute sufferings in Cuban prison camps during a period of history that can only be described as without hope. The story that is told, is a story of one man's release from solitary confinememt and the worst immaginable conditions a man could ever endure. From the very first page, the reader is posed a moral question: Is this one man's struggle against an oppressive regime or is it man's srtruggle against brutality,torture and hatred? This is a book to remember. This is a story which God revealed to Castro and the world. This is a book which remains engraved on my heart and soul. It is a book to rest on your bookshelf alongside "Papillon" and Primo Levi's "If this is a man". Viva Valladeres! Viva la Libertad!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David C. Read VINE VOICE on April 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am gratified to learn that this book is soon to be released in paperback. I read the hardback version about 13 years ago, and it was a very moving experience. This man's story constitutes an indictment of Castro's regime very similar to Solzhenitsyn's indictment of Soviet Russia in The Gulag Archipelago. There was no right to trial, just imprisonment on the word of an unknown informant. In many ways, the treatment of the Cuban prisoners was more cruel than the Gulag, because Castro did not have the aid of a harsh climate to kill his enemies. I will never forget reading that two groups as disparate as homosexuals and Seventh-Day Adventists were both alike consigned by Castro to his prison camps.
The recent Elian Gonzales controversy, although a very complex and tragic situation, revealed that most Americans have no real grasp of the nature of Castro and his regime. I wish this book were required reading for all Americans.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eugene A Jewett on September 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I read this book I had to put it down at least seven different times; the barbaric cruelty of the jailers was that upsetting. For little more than a token show of distaste for Marxism, Valladares was imprisoned under the harshest conditions imaginable. The mind numbing sadism goes on chapter after chapter until you can't imagine how a man could put up with it. Valladares, thru sheer faith and belief that he'll survive, finds a way to survive the drawer cells, the white room, the extended solitary confinement in total darkness, the sleep deprivation, the horrible food, the immersion in a lake of human excrement, the brutal beatings and having to witness fellow prisoners maimed and killed.
His health, particularly his lung tissue, was permanently damaged. The description of his injury and its aftermath in the wake of his attempt to escape made me wince repeatedly. Having been on crutches 15 times myself I could feel his pain. God bless Amnesty International for helping to spring this guy.
When I read about the excoriation that Ron Radosh and David Horowitz endure from their former communist comrades I want to suggest that the complinants go live in Cuba and ply their demogoguery there. Then they can do time in Castro's jails and give us their opinion about his glorious revolution.
Read "Guerilla Prince" by Geyer as a compliment to this book; it's the story of Castro's life. Fidel, whatta guy. Valladares adds to the extensive record of what a horrifying sadist we have ruling an island prison 90 miles from our shores. All American communists-progressives-socialists should read this book, for perspective if nothing else.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book a few years ago and the images of heroism and injustice have lingered with me ever since. Valladares' account of his time in prison is a rare first-person account of the horrors of a tyrannical government. A truly outstanding work that helped me understand a world totally alien to me and most Americans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ADRIANA M. NANCE on July 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My cousin was also imprisoned by Castro following the Bay of Pigs Invasion in the 60's. He refused (and still refuses)to speak about his experiences, so my aunt loaned me the Spanish version of this book several years ago. I was fascinated but must admit that I was totally unprepared for the brutality and cruelty that those prisoners must endure. I cried the entire time, and the memory of what that book described will haunt me for the rest of my life. Now I want my children to read this account so that they will appreciate their heritage and the freedom that we enjoy in the United States.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this monumental testimonial of his twenty-two years as a Cuban political prisoner, Valladares graphically recounts the executions, beatings and sadistic tortures that are a commonplace in Cuba's prisons. During his "travels" within the vast Cuban prison complex, Valladares crosses paths with the "Plantados," the brave men and women who refused "reeducation" inside Castro's jails, and who paid a terrible price as a result. More than a recounting of the horrors of the Cuban gulag, this book is an inspiring testimonial to the capacity of faith and love to overcome hatred and utter moral depravity. Sixteen years after its original publication, Against All Hope remains the authoritative English-language account of the depredations committed by the Castro regime. It adds yet another devastating chapter to the growing body of documentation on the crimes of totalitarianism in the 20th century. No one who reads this book will ever again see Fidel Castro and his revolution in the same light.
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