6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
History's Longest Hour,
This review is from: Castro'S Final Hour (Paperback)
I read this book when it first appeared and was impressed by the wealth of first-hand information Mr. Oppenheimer had been able to amass. I remember quite vividly thinking at the time that Castro had managed to hang on to his personal fiefdom for over thrity years (at that point), and that given his ruthless nature, his absolute control over every aspect of Cuban society, and the long experience of the islanders in acquiesing to domination and deprivation, it was risky to predict his demise (at least on economic grounds).
The system Castro constructed is a marvel of state control. There is really nothing else in the world quite like it, although the North Korean regime gets similar results using more consistently brutal and heavy-handed methods. In retrospect, it seems odd that while Mr. Oppenheimer was able to explain a great deal about how the system works, he came to the conclusion that it would soon fail anyway.
So to sum up the book: Good research, lots of data and anecdotes, very well written, faulty conclusion. It seems that the world, and the luckless Cuban people, are stuck with the old caudillo until he dies.