Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba by Tom Miller

Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba
ISBN 068912094X
  • Author:
    Tom Miller
  • Title:
    Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba
  • Category:
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  • ISBN13:
  • Publisher:
    Atheneum; 1st edition (November 23, 1992)
  • Pages:
  • Size PDF version
    1365 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1226 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1866 kb
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The author goes off the beaten track to give an entertaining, first-hand tour of Cuba, drinking with bartenders who knew Hemingway, taking oboe lessons, traveling with a baseball team, touring Guantanamo Bay, and visiting with Cubans of all kinds.

A gift to my friend with Cuban roots, he reported back that he learned a lot about Cuba from this book. This is not this author's first work but one of a series written from the perspective of an experienced traveler throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. With the current thawing of restraints with Cuba, this book may help better understand the situation of a stalled society. However, this book was written about 20 years ago. A few situations representated may not be entirely accurate such as the surreptitious use of the Internet by Cubans to get news about the world without, because social networking has developed extensively since this book was written. Books like this will be come more and more valuable as people with an interest a country held hostage for over 50 years while watching more history being made as the butterfly emerges from the cocoon.
Eventhough,19 years old, the book's descriptions still ring true (my visit June 2011) although life seems more relaxed then described in book. One gets a real feel for the people, history and countryside without the tedium of a typical travel book. Used the book to look up certain addresses Miller referred to that were not typical tourist attractions. What fun! Reading like a travel diary, chapter headings would have been beneficial: p.3 Arrival, Havana & Neighborhoods of Miramar and Vedado; p.69 Kosher, p. 80 Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus, Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs); p. 113 Return to Havana; p. 130 Nitza Villapol, t.v. chef tells all; p.142 Pinar del Rio, cigar factory; p. 166 Hemingway; p. 203 Eastern tip; Guantanamo and Baraco; p. 274 to end Traveling, Watching and Playing Baseball with the Enemy. "It's a grand place and I'd be sorry not to go there again." Index. No photos. 3 maps: his routes through Cuba; geographical relationship of U. S., Mexico and Dominican Republic; and Havana).
For more background: Sugar King of Havana: Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Sugar King and Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and then Lost it to the Revolution. Lots on Meyer Lansky.
Most interesting book on Cuba so long after the revolution destroys a lot of canard with facts and data as well as personal contacts. I just got back from first visit to Cuba and rigid is spot on.
Excellent book! Well written with great (true) story line. Probes and accurately portrays Cuban personalities and culture. Read this book shortly after visiting Cuba and his deprecation was spot-on.
This book was ok. It gave a nice glimpse of life inside Cuba in the 1990s and some interesting insights into Cuban culture. It wasn't really written in a compelling style and was sort of a pastiche of a travelogue. I came away not really caring much about any of the characters or the author himself.
Superb story teller! Just back from Cuba! Nothing has changed since the book was written! More private restaurants and lodging!
Not as good as I thought.
Fascinating, well-written account of Cuba during the "Special Period" of the 90s and before. Recommended reading for anyone interested in Cuban and Cuban - American history.