More Grist for the Mill

Just a heads up about two books on the horizon. Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner, due in August, is set in the privileged enclave of Americans in 1950’s Cuba. Ms. Kushner’s mother grew up in this environment. It will be interesting to see how precastro Cuba comes across. I managed to get my hands on an advance copy, and the first few pages are already into how the cane cutters lived.
The second, written by T. J. English and available in June, goes by the less than auspicious title of Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost it to the Revolution. All your worst fears are confirmed in this write up by Tom Robbins in the Village Voice. Yeah, I know, it’s the Voice. Try the first paragraph:
The best image of the capitalist/criminal cabal that ran pre-revolutionary Cuba was captured in the Havana episode in The Godfather, Part II, where gangsters famously slice up a cake decorated with a map of the country. Now comes the book version of that sordid saga, and we’re happy to report from T.J. English’s fascinating Havana Nocturne that many of the movie’s telling details are dead-on accurate.
Get the Rolaids ready and read the article.

2 thoughts on “More Grist for the Mill”

  1. WARNING: F-Bombs coming –
    “How the Mob Owned Cuba”
    I am so fucking sick and tired of this nonsense. I realize its great for screenplays but I cannot fucking stand the way so many people choose to paint the Cuban people with such a broad brush – or paint our history with such a broad brush for that matter.
    SICK and TIRED.

  2. Looks like that History Channel profile of Fidel; along with the Batista regime, he had the
    ‘courage to oppose was based on Enrique Cirule’s Castro friendly apologia (who in turn was a source for Mayra Montero’s Son de Almendra) and the tendentious Tropicana profile.

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