This is a very interesting book, intended as a sort of autobiography. It is based on a series of spoken interviews, in which Fidel Castro answered questions - and his responses were recoded then typed-up. The process took quite some time, and the level of depth and detail in this book is rather impressive.
The questions asked, and the responses given, have been placed in a thematic order in the book - so, for example, there's a section on Castro's youth, a section on his views concerning welfare, social & health care, and a section of the Cuban revolution, etc.. This structuring allows a reader to easily locate a particular topic, and access the desired information.
This book was written when Fidel was still President of Cuba. It explores - in detail - the 50 years he had, up to that point, been in office. Yet the questions are highly diverse, and Fidel was apparently willing to discuss any topic asked of him.
This is a big book - over 700 pages in length - and is very well written. Given that the focus of this book - the life and thought of Fidel Castro - is of real importance (as he was a major figure in 20th century world history), this book deserves to be read.
A wide ranging epic conversation/interview. We are placed in the position of receipient of Castro's knowledge, experience, insights and honesty. Ramonet's questions are far-ranging, travelling across swathes 20th century history and questions affecting our own age.
I enjoyed Castro's candidness, his openness to probing questions. Few, if any statesmen, have met, been involved in or seen unfold the events that he has. This conversation though, places Cuba, its people and their indomitable spirit at the centre. We learn of the mass education programmes, the unique corps of doctors who give their skills where they are needed around the globe. The major early events are also here, and inevitably, Che.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to move away from negative portrayals and wants to hear the words of the man himself. It's a long read but the better for that.
A very enjoyable read and insight into one of the twentieth century's most famous politicians. The format of the book is written as one long interview with footnotes to help explain to readers the people and background to events being discussed. In all this makes it very readable and quick to get through. There is even a few pages devoted to the key dates and events in Castro's life towards the end of the book too.
The translation of the Spanish text is very good, and it attempts to keep as many Spanish specific words as possible in the text(such as compañero, muchacho etc). The translation also manages to convey the tone of the answers Castro gives very well too.
If there is one down side of this book its the inability of Castro to give simple, straight forward answers to certain questions - for example a simple question by Ramonet such as "How many men did you send there to Angola?" gets a half page digression before he gives his answer. Typical Castro I suppose you could say!!
In all a very good read, and the chapters on the Cuban missile Crisis (or "October Crisis) and on Neoliberal Globalisation are very interesting indeed.
The U.S. has had 10 presidents since Fidel Castro became Cuba's prime minister in 1959. From Eisenhower, who refused to meet with him, to Kennedy, whose CIA wanted to kill him, to Clinton, who tried to ignore him, Castro outlasted them all. He had amazing longevity, given what he dished out to his people and what he dealt with, from the Bay of Pigs attack to the Cuban missile crisis, a 50-year trade embargo, and hundreds of attempts on his life by the CIA, the Mafia, Cuban exiles and island dissidents. These ordeals involved all kinds of odd weapons, such as a poisoned diving suit, a seashell bomb and an exploding cigar. Cruel and charismatic, Castro exhibited remarkable staying power, having impoverished, exiled, jailed, tortured or killed most of his opponents over the decades. Finally, given serious illness, he resigned and turned the government over to his brother Raúl. Even though Fidel is frail and old, he once seemed as indestructible as the mountains of Sierra Maestra, where he began his revolutionary struggle. If you want to know what makes Fidel tick, getAbstract suggests this autobiography, developed and edited by Spanish journalist Ignacio Ramonet from 100 hours of recorded interviews with Castro. This fascinating, in-depth book provides an insider's look, including information never before available in the U.S. However, given that it reflects Castro's unleavened perceptions, its facts and interpretations may be open to question. Even while finding Fidel's viewpoint compelling, many would strongly disagree with the dictator's self-laudatory tone. Memory is longer than that.