This is one of the best reads I have had all year. Peter Millar's journey through Cuba by train stands out among contemporary travel and history books as an account which really opens the window on its subject in a refreshing way, that suddenly makes modern Cuba understandable. The author, who has spent many years as a journalist in eastern Europe, is uniquely qualified to describe how modern (or not so modern) Cuba became the way it is. Millar's breadth of historical facts and anecdotes is impressive, yet the book is remarkably free of judgement. The facts and the local color speak for themselves, and the reader is allowed to draw his or her own conclusions as you go. I certainly do not have the energy anymore to take on the Cuban railway system, but I have to admit that reading about Peter Millar doing it is a lot of fun. The reviewer on the book's back cover says, `This is a journey everyone will want to read about - but no one in their right mind would want to follow.' He has got that right. Do not even think about going to Cuba without first reading this important and at times very funny briefing. Even Fidel and Raul will want to read it. And they certainly need to.
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