Today they stand as enemies, but in the 1950s, few countries were as closely intertwined as Cuba and the United States. Thousands of Americans (including Ernest Hemingway and Errol Flynn) lived on the island, and, in the United States, dancehalls swayed to the mambo beat. The strong-arm Batista regime depended on Washington's support, and it invited American gangsters like Meyer Lansky to build fancy casinos for U.S. tourists. Major league scouts searched for Cuban talent: The New York Giants even offered a contract to a young pitcher named Fidel Castro. In 1955, Castro did come to the United States, but not for baseball: He toured the country to raise money for a revolution.
Thomas Paterson tells the fascinating story of Castro's insurrection, from that early fund-raising trip to Batista's fall and the flowering of the Cuban Revolution that has bedeviled the United States for more than three decades. With evocative prose and a swift-moving narrative, Paterson recreates the love-hate relationship between the two nations, then traces the intrigue of the insurgency, the unfolding revolution, and the sources of the Bay of Pigs invasion, CIA assassination plots, and the missile crisis. The drama ranges from the casino blackjack tables to Miami streets; from the Eisenhower and Kennedy White Houses to the crowded deck of the Granma, the frail boat that carried the Fidelistas to Cuba from Mexico; from Batista's fortified palace to mountain hideouts where Rau'l Castro held American hostages. Drawing upon impressive international research, including declassified CIA documents and interviews, Paterson reveals how Washington, fixed on the issue of Communism, failed to grasp the widespread disaffection from Batista. The Eisenhower administration alienated Cubans by supplying arms to a hated regime, by sustaining Cuba's economic dependence, and by conspicuously backing Batista. As Batista self-destructed, U.S. officials launched third-force conspiracies in a vain attempt to block Castro's victory. By the time the defiant revolutionary leader entered Havana in early 1959, the foundation of the long, bitter hostility between Cuba and the United States had been firmly laid.
Since the end of the Cold War, the futures of Communist Cuba and Fidel Castro have become clouded. Paterson's gripping and timely account explores the origins of America's troubled relationship with its island neighbor, explains what went wrong and how the United States "let this one get away," and suggests paths to the future as the Clinton administration inches toward less hostile relations with a changing Cuba.
Letters chronicle a century of life in the United States, from Mark Twain's humorous letter to the head of Western Union to Einstein's warning to Roosevelt about atomic warfare and a young Bill Gates begging hobbyists not to share software.
A noted Hispanic journalist sheds new light on the history of Latinos in America, ranging from the first sixteenth-century colonies in the New World through the 1998 presidential election, and offers close-up portraits of distinguished Americans of Hispanic descent who have played a key role in the ever-evolving face of American life. Reprint.
The first biography to combine the lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt furnishes a fascinating portrait of the controversial lives of three courageous American leaders who changed the course of twentieth-century history. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
The big daddy of the conspiracy books on the JFK assassination, and one that can't be taken lightly. A sheer tour de force that may be the final word until 2039--when government files on the case can be unlocked.--Kirkus Reviews
During the 1920s Herbert O. Yardley was chief of the first peacetime cryptanalytic organization in the United States, the ancestor of today's National Security Agency. Funded by the U.S. Army and the Department of State and working out of New York, his small and highly secret unit succeeded in breaking the diplomatic codes of several nations, including Japan. The decrypts played a critical role in U.S. diplomacy. Despite its extraordinary successes, the Black Chamber, as it came to known, was disbanded in 1929. President Hoover's new Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson refused to continue its funding with the now-famous comment, "Gentlemen do not read other people's mail." In 1931 a disappointed Yardley caused a sensation when he published this book and revealed to the world exactly what his agency had done with the secret and illegal cooperation of nearly the entire American cable industry. These revelations and Yardley's right to publish them set into motion a conflict that continues to this day: the right to freedom of expression versus national security. In addition to offering an expos on post-World War I cryptology, the book is filled with exciting stories and personalities.
OVER THEREWhen Raymond Gantter arrived in Normandy in the fall of 1944, bodies were still washing up from the invasion. Sobered by that sight, Gantter and his fellow infantrymen moved across northern France and Belgium, taking part in the historic and bloody Battle of the Bulge, before slowly penetrating into and across Germany, fighting all the way to the Czechoslovakian border. With depth, clarity, and remarkable compassion, Gantter--an enlisted man and college graduate who spoke German--portrays the extraordinary life of the American soldier as he and his comrades lived it while helping to destroy Hitler's Third Reich. From dueling with unseen snipers in ruined villages to fierce battles in which the lightly armed American infantry skirmished against Hitler's panzers, Gantter skillfully captures one infantryman's progress across a continent where guns, fear, and death lay in wait around every bend in the road.
Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit's fortunes:
Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.
Author Laura Hillenbrand brilliantly re-creates a universal underdog story, one that proves life is a horse race.
"From the Hardcover edition."