Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yesterday I finished Havana Nocturne by T.J. English.

The books subtitle, "How the mob owned Cuba and then lost if to the revolution", says it all. The book does a nice job of laying out how US based gangsters got involved in Cuba, became very influential by partnering with Fulgencio Batista, the military strongman who dominated Cuban politicals for the first half of the 20th century, and then lost everything when Batista fled the island as Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement took over.

English does a good job of balancing his coverage, keeping his editorial voice under control, and not giving any romantic overtones to two subjects often treated that way - the mafia and Castro.

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