Author: Tom Miller
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2008-09-09
Genre: Political Science
“Havana knew me by my shoes,” begins Tom Miller's lively and entertaining account of his sojourn for more than eight months traveling through Cuba, mixing with its literati and black marketers, its cane cutters and cigar rollers. Granted unprecedented access to travel throughout the country, the author presents us with a rare insight into one of the world's only Communist countries. Its best-known personalities and ordinary citizens talk to him about the U.S. embargo and tell their favorite Fidel jokes as they stand in line for bread at the Socialism or Death Bakery. Miller provides a running commentary on Cuba's food shortages, exotic sensuality, and baseball addiction as he follows the scents of Graham Greene, José Marti, Ernest Hemingway, and the Mambo Kings. The result of this informed and adventurous journey is a vibrant, rhythmic portrait of a land and people too long shielded from American eyes.
Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years. Scientists have long believed that the “great leap forward” that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.
Author: Carlos Eire
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-12-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A childhood in a privileged household in 1950s Havana was joyous and cruel, like any other-but with certain differences. The neighbour's monkey was liable to escape and run across your roof. Surfing was conducted by driving cars across the breakwater. Lizards and firecrackers made frequent contact. Carlos Eire's childhood was a little different from most. His father was convinced he had been Louis XVI in a past life. At school, classmates with fathers in the Batista government were attended by chauffeurs and bodyguards. At a home crammed with artifacts and paintings, portraits of Jesus spoke to him in dreams and nightmares. Then, in January 1959, the world changes: Batista is suddenly gone, a cigar-smoking guerrilla has taken his place, and Christmas is cancelled. The echo of firing squads is everywhere. And, one by one, the author's schoolmates begin to disappear-spirited away to the United States. Carlos will end up there himself, without his parents, never to see his father again. Narrated with the urgency of a confession, WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA is both an ode to a paradise lost and an exorcism. More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times in our lives when we are certain we have died-and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.
Author: Tom Miller
Publisher: Travelers' Tales
Release Date: 2004
In this collection of essays, the essence of Cuba's intriguing past and vibrant present is captured, including Dave Eggers's essay on hitchhikers, Patrick Symmes's search for Che Guevara, and other works by Stephen Benz, Ruth Behar, Eliseo Alberto, and others. Original.
Author: Julia Cooke
Publisher: Seal Press
Release Date: 2014-04-01
Change looms in Havana, Cuba's capital, a city electric with uncertainty yet cloaked in cliché, 90 miles from U.S. shores and off-limits to most Americans. Journalist Julia Cooke, who lived there at intervals over a period of five years, discovered a dynamic scene: baby-faced anarchists with Mohawks gelled with laundry soap, whiskey-drinking children of the elite, Santería trainees, pregnant prostitutes, university graduates planning to leave for the first country that will give them a visa. This last generation of Cubans raised under Fidel Castro animate life in a waning era of political stagnation as the rest of the world beckons: waiting out storms at rummy hurricane parties and attending raucous drag cabarets, planning ascendant music careers and black-market business ventures, trying to reconcile the undefined future with the urgent today. Eye-opening and politically prescient, The Other Side of Paradise offers a deep new understanding of a place that has so confounded and intrigued us.
Author: Charles Higham
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Business & Economics
This perennial classic of political literature remains the only book to document the trading of the American financial establishment with Hitler's Germany in World War II, from Pearl Harbor to V-E Day. Ford supplied tanks to Hitler, the Chase Bank financed the Nazis in Paris, ITT built rocket bombs for Goering and Standard Oil fueled U-boats in the Atlantic.
Author: Tom Gjelten
Release Date: 2008-09-04
In this widely hailed book, NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten fuses the story of the Bacardi family and their famous rum business with Cuba's tumultuous experience over the last 150 years to produce a deeply entertaining historical narrative. The company Facundo Bacardi launched in Cuba in 1862 brought worldwide fame to the island, and in the decades that followed his Bacardi descendants participated in every aspect of Cuban life. With his intimate account of their struggles and adventures across five generations, Gjelten brings to life the larger story of Cuba's fight for freedom, its tortured relationship with America, the rise of Fidel Castro, and the violent division of the Cuban nation.
Author: Norberto Fuentes
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2010-12-06
"A compelling fictional personage-by turns arrogant, funny, pompous, lewd, self-absorbed and self-deluding."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times An audacious “biography” of the ex-president of Cuba told in Castro’s own outrageous, bombastic voice. Prize-winning author and journalist Norberto Fuentes was once a revolutionary: a writer with privileged access to Fidel Castro’s inner circle during some the most challenging years of the revolution. But in the late 1990s, as the regime began sending its oldest comrades to the firing squad, he became A Man Who Knew Too Much. Escaping a death sentence and now living in exile, Fuentes has written a brilliant, satirical, and utterly captivating “autobiography” of the Cuban leader—in Fidel’s own arrogant and seductive language—discussing everything from Castro’s early sexual experiences in Birán to his true feelings about Che Guevara and his philosophy on murder, legacy, and state secrets. Critics have long admired Fuentes’s writing; one U.S. article called him “Norman Mailer’s Cuban pen pal.” Akin to Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, or Edmund Morris’s Dutch, this wickedly entertaining, true-to-life masterpiece is as imaginative and outsized as Castro himself.
Author: Richard Gott
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2005
A thorough examination of the history of the controversial island country looks at little-known aspects of its past, from its pre-Columbian origins to the fate of its native peoples, complete with up-to-date information on Cuba's place in a post-Soviet world.
The Buendia Family had it all going for them. The patriarch of the family, an accomplished university professor, and his loving wife had created a paradise under the palm trees of glamorous Havana with its incessant nightlife. Little did they know that their world of comfort and luxury would come crashing down. This family story framed by the turbulent Havana of the 1950s is a tour de force for anyone interested in the evolution of Cuba as the playground of the Americas.
Author: T. J. English
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2009-10-13
Genre: True Crime
To underworld kingpins Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Cuba was the greatest hope for the future of American organized crime in the post-Prohibition years. In the 1950s, the Mob—with the corrupt, repressive government of brutal Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in its pocket—owned Havana's biggest luxury hotels and casinos, launching an unprecedented tourism boom complete with the most lavish entertainment, top-drawer celebrities, gorgeous women, and gambling galore. But Mob dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others who would lead an uprising of the country's disenfranchised against Batista's hated government and its foreign partners—an epic cultural battle that bestselling author T. J. English captures here in all its sexy, decadent, ugly glory.
From a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, a brilliantly conceived and illuminating reconsideration of a key period in the life of Ernest Hemingway that will forever change the way he is perceived and understood. Focusing on the years 1934 to 1961—from Hemingway’s pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters until his suicide—Paul Hendrickson traces the writer’s exultations and despair around the one constant in his life during this time: his beloved boat, Pilar. We follow him from Key West to Paris, to New York, Africa, Cuba, and finally Idaho, as he wrestles with his best angels and worst demons. Whenever he could, he returned to his beloved fishing cruiser, to exult in the sea, to fight the biggest fish he could find, to drink, to entertain celebrities and friends and seduce women, to be with his children. But as he began to succumb to the diseases of fame, we see that Pilar was also where he cursed his critics, saw marriages and friendships dissolve, and tried, in vain, to escape his increasingly diminished capacities. Generally thought of as a great writer and an unappealing human being, Hemingway emerges here in a far more benevolent light. Drawing on previously unpublished material, including interviews with Hemingway’s sons, Hendrickson shows that for all the writer’s boorishness, depression, and alcoholism, and despite his choleric anger, he was capable of remarkable generosity—to struggling writers, to lost souls, to the dying son of a friend. We see most poignantly his relationship with his youngest son, Gigi, a doctor who lived his adult life mostly as a cross-dresser, and died squalidly and alone in a Miami women’s jail. He was the son Hemingway forsook the least, yet the one who disappointed him the most, as Gigi acted out for nearly his whole life so many of the tortured, ambiguous tensions his father felt. Hendrickson’s bold and beautiful book strikingly makes the case that both men were braver than we know, struggling all their lives against the complicated, powerful emotions swirling around them. As Hendrickson writes, “Amid so much ruin, still the beauty.” Hemingway’s Boat is both stunningly original and deeply gripping, an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this great American writer, published fifty years after his death. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Tom Miller
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Release Date: 2007-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Leading Latino artists, entertainers, politicians, authors, and athletes explain how they each dealt with the challenges and intricacies of learning the English language, including Congressman Jose Serrano and writer Oscar Hijuelos.
Author: Tom Miller
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Release Date: 2017-10-10
Critically acclaimed author Tom Miller reveals the making and marketing of one Panama hat, from the straw fields of Ecuador’s coastal lowland to a hat shop in Southern California. Along the way, the hat becomes a literary device allowing Miller to give us his impressions from the tributaries of the Amazon to the mountainsides of the Andes. The Panama Hat Trail is at once a study in global economics and a lively travelogue.