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Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington Hardcover – October 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1St Edition edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416551506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416551508
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Cuban leader Fidel Castro's phoenix-like return from a near death experience in 2006 is a fitting introduction to this exhaustively researched account of one of the world's last communist leaders. Castro's quixotic quest to outlive most of his comrades provides fresh fodder for the "Castro obit industry," and investigative reporter Bardach (Cuba Confidential) obliges with graphic accounts of Castro's numerous health issues. She also reveals many previously unknown family stories, from the illegitimate offspring who've fled Castro's repressive rule, to his relationship with his younger brother and successor Raúl (a "more mindful and empathetic" man). As titillating as these personal details are, Bardach doesn't skimp on the politics or the day-to-day obstacles of Cuban civilians living in grinding poverty. Bardach opens the window wide on the "diplomatic train wreck" that is U.S.-Cuban relations, including Miami's exile community, anti-Castro Beltway establishment members, and the history of U.S. attempts to remove Castro from power. Bardach also exposes hypocrisy in the American anti-terrorism campaign, which seem to give a pass to anyone actively plotting against Castro. Bardach's unmatched access to Castro and other major players makes this a thorough account of a long-lived world figure who, admired or reviled, is an undoubtedly fascinating subject.

About the Author

Ann Louise Bardach is a PEN award-winning investigative journalist who has covered Cuba for fifteen years for the New York TimesVanity Fair,  and many other national publications. She is the author Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana and is the editor of The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro and Cuba: A Travelers Literary Companion. She teaches International Journalism at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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Customer Reviews

Another diatribe by an author with little to say that is either new or helpful.
Reader
She is the old-school journalist who cares only for uncovering a story, confirming sources, and then carefully reporting the truth without any bias for politics.
John Radanovich
I read this book having very little background in the subject and found it riveting.
D. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Reed on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Bardach's knowledge of Cuba and Fidel is unsurpassed. She presents a reporter's view: unbiased and crisp information exposing a failed system run by a prideful dictator who refuses to let go. She makes the point that all of the players are getting too old for this, it is time to move on. Everyone should read this book, particularly younger generations of Cubans on both sides of the water that want to connect with lost family, culture and history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Radanovich on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Forget the ranting/tiresome political stances and how they polarize discussion of Cuban affairs--on either side of the argument, and both sides of the Florida Straits as well as both sides of the Atlantic. Ann Bardach's research and writing about current realities and ancient historical disputes over Cuba are unmatched by any American (and probably all European writers on the topic as well). I've followed her writing for years, and have known the inside edge of these issues, too. From what I know of her examination of Cuban issues (not what I *believe* is any bias she would have), I can say without hesitation that Ms Bardach has no ax to grind whatsoever. She is the old-school journalist who cares only for uncovering a story, confirming sources, and then carefully reporting the truth without any bias for politics.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Hirsch on November 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...there were many other well-written comments that echoed my own feelings--about the depth of knowledge and information, the even-handedness, the humor, etc. that I prefer to use this space to establish a fund to help defer the costs of a lobotomy for Mr. J. Lopez.

On a more serious note, when the reviews are running 5 or 5 to 1 in favor, the only thing Ms. Bardach has to worry about is that not enough people will find out what a great book this is.

C.S. Hirsch
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Quigg VINE VOICE on August 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a great analysis of why Cuba and the USA have not mended fences. The US has reached out to former enemies in the Soviet Union, Red China, North Korea, and even Vietnam. They have relations with these nations, even though there is distrust. The Cuban regime is a different matter. 20% of the Cubans have emigrated out of Cuba and form a resolute block on making common cause with the Communist regime in Havanna. These aging Cuban Americans have prevented a foreign policy reapproachment with Cuba.

Two have to tangle in this deceit, and Fidel Castro has still wielded the nationalist bat against the American "Empire". He continues to stir up trouble, even though his country is shattered economically. Fidel will not live forever, but his rage against America continues to influence the policy of his brother Raul.

The author has written a down the middle review of what troubles Cuba-American relations. Both sides have to give to receive. In the process of giving, there could be real economic and political changes in Cuba. However, the Fidelistas need to give up the government, and the Cuban American community has to overturn these rotten laws Washington has enacted.

I felt this is a needed book of reform for both Washington and Havanna. Change can help heal the rift in Cuban American relations.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on November 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this book having very little background in the subject and found it riveting. It is incredibly informative but still filled with wit and insight and is a compelling read throughout. No matter where you stand on the subject and the man, you will find the book fascinating.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Josefina Suarez on November 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
about cuba . The latest from the hot shot NYT Vanity Fair investigative journalsit ALB . No one knows Cuba like Bardach .If you want to sound like ur in the know when it comes to things cuba get the low down from the ultra insider ALB .and if u still have not read her Cuba Confidential get it as the companion . I had been waiting for the follow up for years and now that it is here well i got through it in 2 nights and wanting more . really makes u get to cuba before the hordes,
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Burgos on November 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I would like to be the first to contribute to the C.S. Hirsch Fund for Mr. J. Lopez' lobotomy. Having read and enjoyed her earlier book - Cuba Confidential - I am not surprised that Ann Loiuse Bardach's - Without Fidel - is not only a refreshing, unbiased look at one of the world's most intriguing political figures, and a compelling story of a beleaguered country confronting it's future without him, it is also a thoroughly enjoyable read, written with style and wit. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jose A. Gonzalez on December 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An exellent book for those of us that are interested in Cuba and its future.
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