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Diary of a Survivor: Nineteen Years in a Cuban Women's Prison Hardcover – June, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 325 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (June 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312130503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312130503
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,469,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1961, three years into the Cuban revolution, medical student Rodriguez, a member of the anti-Castro underground, was jailed for "counterrevolutionary acts of sabotage." In 1979, after two escapes, several hunger strikes and "obstinate and uncooperative" behavior, she was released, free to join anti-Castroites in Miami.She claims that her jailers were glad to be rid of her. As she and Miami Herald journalist Garvin tell it, she was a superwoman who intimidated, harassed and insulted her jailers; they in turn saw her and her prison comrades as "always looking for some excuse to make trouble" and indifferent to "the many times [they were] shown forgiveness." Although she was often punished with solitary confinement, it is not clear why worse did not befall her and why, if her jailers were the villains she claims, she was often granted privileges. A self-styled rebel since the age of 14, first against the Batista dictatorship, then Castro, she admits that after her release, she had difficulty not walking on the grass in Miami whenever she saw a Keep Off sign.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Here we read the touching, compelling story of Ana Rodriguez, a young medical student arrested by Cuba's state security police in 1962 for her role in the anti-Castro movement. Initially a Castro supporter, Rodriguez joined in the struggle against him after his oppressive, totalitarian intentions became clear. In prison, despite beatings, starvation, confinement to blackout cells, and other abuses, Rodriguez and a handful of other women withstood all attempts at political intimidation, re-education, and rehabilitation. During her 19 years as a political prisoner, she broke out twice, organized other prisoners against injustices, and fought the brutal prison administrators with astonishing courage and unshakable belief in her convictions. Rodriguez (with Miami Herald reporter Glenn Garvin) weaves a breathtaking, spellbinding documentary of Cuban prison life. Diary of a Survivor is not only a fascinating and well-written memoir but also a testament to human strength and dignity in the face of shocking human-rights abuses. Kathleen Hughes

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Anna Rodriguez's story is one that truly describes the oppresive conditions inside Castro's jails, as you read this book, you will realize that there is a certain paradox in the way totalitarian regimes treat its disidents. In this book the prevailing ideology is Communism. In Jacobo Timmerman's "Prisoner without name, Cell without number," the ideology is fascism. So the problem is not necessarily one ideology versus another. The problem is a totalitarian state of the extreme left or right which will use all its might to stifle its citizens.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Orlando M Hundley on October 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Oh my gosh! I bought this book for a $1.00 and was just looking for something to read. Ever since then I have become appauled by the courage, committment and loyatly these women had for each other. This book is not a only a diary of a survivor, but also a diary for a survivor, because it has helped me, along with other, survive through each and everyday....Go Anna and the rest of the crew.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "cornell727" on May 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how I stumbled upon this book but I couldn't put it down once I started. While this is a story of Cuba, prison, and women, it is most importantly an inspiring story of courage. Ana is a true inspiration to all women to never stop fighting for what you deserve. She has an enormous amount of self-respect and lived in inhumane conditions for 2 decades because of her beliefs. It was a book I looked foward to reading every day and truely make me feel inspired.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am not quite sure how I stumbled upon this book, but I couldn't put it down once I began. This is a book about Cuba, prison, women, and most importantly - courage. Ana puts up a fight for 19 years and doesn't give in to anything she doesn't believe in no matter how desperately AWFUL the conditions. She goes through situations that I can not even imagine and has more self-respect than anyone I have ever known. You don't have to know anything about Cuba to read this story. It will inspire you, particularly the women, to be like Ana and always fight for what you deserve.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amy Lange on August 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This was an amazing book! I could not put it down. By the end you feel that you know this woman and you are right there with her. Reading this book has made me realize how lucky I am and brought my empathy to a new level. I recommend this book to everyone!
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