Bardach, Ann Louise. Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana, and Washington. Scribner. 2009. c.288p. index. ISBN 978-1-4165-5150-8. $28. INT AFFAIRS [fom LibraryJournal.com]
Journalist Bardach (Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana) presents a fast-paced inside view of Castro’s Cuba without the political rhetoric of so many Cuba experts. Divided into three parts—"The Long Dying," "The Fidel Obsession," and "Raul’s Reign"—the book has chapters on Castro enemies Orlando Bosch Avila and Luis Posada Carriles, as well as the terrorist attack on Cubana Airlines flight 455, that progress as if they were in a spy novel. Bardach also aptly relates the Castro–Hugo Chavez connection and offers powerful insight on the county’s relations with the United States post–Fidel and on the effects of Raul’s leadership, marked by an aging group of political insiders. For Raul to be as successful as his brother, Bardach posits that Cuba’s economy must be restructured, especially after the disastrous hurricane season of 2008, which ripped the nation’s crops and agriculture industry apart.
Verdict If you want one analysis on Castro and the future of Cuba, look no further than this excellent account. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/08.]—Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., AL