Recommended Reading on Cuba
Havana Dreams: A Story of a Cuban Family, Wendy Gimbel, 1999. Gimbel fell in love with Cuba in her youth when she visited her socialite grandmother under Batista. She returned as an adult to find a changed country and through exploring one family’s history she manages to capture Cuba’s romance, revolution and ravages.
Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba…and then Lost It to the Revolution, T.J. English, 2007. A spellbinding narrative of Cuba in the 1950s and how such American mafia kingpins as Meyer Lansky and “Lucky” Luciano collided with the revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.
Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba, Tom Gjelten. A gripping saga that tells just as much about human nature and the struggle between power and freedom as it does about Bacardi’s transformation from a fledging business into the world’s top family-owned distiller.
The Sugar King of Havana: The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba’s Last Tycoon, John Paul Rathbone, 2010. The biography of Cuba’s most successful businessman, who was born the year Cuba gained independence in 1898 and became the most powerful player in the world sugar market, until Castro’s regime abruptly brought him down.
Cuba and the Night, Pico Iyer. 1995. A wonderful travel writer and essayist’s first novel is a lyrical love story about an American photographer who falls for a young Cuban woman in the haunting landscape of Castro’s Caribbean island.
Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina Garcia. 1992. In her debut novel, Garcia employs magic realism to trace the path of three generations of Cuban women from the 1930’s to 1980.
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