THE WINDS OF DECEMBER by John & Roberto Fabricio Dorschner


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Since Hugh Thomas' monumental Cuba contains all the information of real importance about the Cuban Revolution, the only thing left to add is detail. That is what Dorschner and Fabricio set out to do on the basis of some 250 interviews conducted in Cuba, the U.S., and other places in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, most of the detail is of the trivial novelistic order. The story opens with a ""mood of Havana"" chapter depicting the insulated squalor of the Cuban capital less than a month before its fall to Castro's guerrillas, a scene familiar to viewers of Godfather H. Then we focus on the events of December 1958, as Castro's forces sweep across the island and sweep away the corrupt Batista. Most interesting by far are the pro-Batista maneuverings of U.S. Ambassador Earl Smith and the State Department's futile effort to find a ""third force"" as an alternative to Castro. But none of this is new or surprising--even those with no knowledge of Cuba will recognize the symptoms from Graham Greene's The Quiet American. In conclusion, the authors ponder whether or not Fidel was a communist before he came to power, which only suggests that they haven't learned any more from all this detail than we do.

Pub Date: April 16th, 1980
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan