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Dateline Havana: The Real Story of Us Policy and the Future of Cuba Hardcover – December 1, 2008
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Dateline Havana combines good investigative reporting with sharp analysis. Erlich takes us inside the cultures of Cubans and Cuban-Americans, an eyewitness to their lives and their challenging politics over 40 years of reporting from the island nation. Dateline Havana is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the problems with and seeing change in U.S. Cuba policy.
—Walter Cronkite, journalist and former anchor of CBS Evening News
Reese Erlich’s carefully researched new book, Dateline Havana, provides a historical perspective on the reasons that the United States and Cuba don’t get along. It documents the sometimes hilarious and absurd lengths to which the U.S. government and the Cuba Lobby have gone to discredit Fidel Castro. Dateline Havana is mandatory reading for anyone concerned about the future of Cuba.
—Lee Lockwood, Castro’s Cuba, Cuba’s Fidel
In Dateline Havana, Erlich talks to people from all sectors of society. Refusing tobe put off by the myriad obstacles that plague journalists trying to cover the Cuban experience, Erlich provides a unique look at a distinct social and economic system filled with contradictions, failures, and successes.
—Portia Siegelbaum, network news producer
Reese Erlich provides a well-documented view of one of our closest yet least understood neighbors. His perspectives on the island nation come from interviews with ordinary citizens as well as officials on both sides of the divide. He ventures an educated guess at how near-future Cuban history will unfold.
—Margaret Randall, Cuban Women Now and To Change the World: My Years in Cuba
From the Inside Flap
Dateline Havana is a personal yet considered exposé of U.S. policy and the future of Cuba. Reporting from Havana, Washington DC, and Miami, Erlich explores Cuba's strained history with the United States and the power of the Cuba Lobby. From Miami-based terrorists in Cuba to the green revolution in Cuban agriculture, he unearths telling details about U.S.-Cuba relations and present-day realities on the island.
Covering Cuban culture and politics, Erlich creates a tableau that is at once moving and informative. Along the way, he debunks many myths--perhaps most tellingly in the real story of the Buena Vista Social Club, which has little in common with the documentary by Wim Wenders. He paints a nuanced portrait of a nation cast in black and white by the Cuba Lobby, official U.S. Cuba policy, and the American media.
Erlich's deep knowledge of Cuba's history and his personal contacts with ordinary Cubans, Cuban and U.S. officials, and Cuba Lobby personalities inform Dateline Havana 's evaluation of U.S. options regarding Cuba.
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Top Customer Reviews
Having said that, I found the author's slant (mostly pro-Castroite, always suspicious of US motives, albeit often justifiably) a bit tiresome. His diminution of the human rights violatons in Cuba undermines his credibility here and there, thus the 4 stars, not five. It is, nevertheless, an admirably researched book, important for anyone (even those in government positions) who may want a better understanding of the past and future for the relation between the two countries.
There are other sources readers may want to use to get a deeper understanding of the pre Castro Cuba and its troubled history with the US, including Tom Gjelten's book on the Bacardi family.
The strongest aspect of the book is the extended discussion of the Cuba Lobby. The Cuban exile community has engaged in political activity against Cuba since the early 1960s; this activity has extended from a direct invasion of the island, to a campaign of terrorism, to concerted efforts to mold US policy. The last has been most successful. Extremist Cuban-American exiles no longer represent a majority of the Cuban population of the United States. Nevertheless, they wield outsize influence over US policy towards Cuba. Reese argues that the Cuban-American extremist exiles succeed not simply because of the electoral power they wield in Florida, but also because they are the only ones paying attention. In this, as in many situations, a small minority with intense preferences can impose its preferred policies on a majority that just doesn't care very much.
Mr. Erlich's account of Cuban political repression is largely fair.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was received promptly and in good condition. I have not read as yet. Recommended by friend who just returned from HabanaPublished on May 31, 2012 by bill selzer
This is a terrific book, one that deals honestly and intelligently with a subject that rarely gets discussed nowadays: how an "underdeveloped country" achieves economic... Read morePublished on July 27, 2009 by Peter Shapiro