The Rise and Decline of Fidel Castro: An Essay in Contemporary History

The Rise and Decline of Fidel Castro: An Essay in Contemporary History

The Rise and Decline of Fidel Castro: An Essay in Contemporary History

The Rise and Decline of Fidel Castro: An Essay in Contemporary History

Excerpt

The main narrative of the present volume is concerned with the first five years (1959-1964) of Fidel Castro's regime and its external relations. This is primarily the period of the rise of Fidel Castro, although it was also the time when the seeds of decline were sown. The symbiotic relationship between rise and decline is illustrated by means of disgressions into events of the following years, when the seeds have sprouted and reveal the shape and measure of the decline.

Hopefully, this scheme offers the reader a substantial grounding in the earlier history of the Cuban Revolution and, at the same time, permits him to be abreast of developments until mid-1971, when the book was completed. A second volume, of similar design, is contemplated for the period 1964-1969, thereby completing an account of the first decade of Castro's rule.

Although the reader will become aware of the fact that the book reflects my personal experience in Cuba, as well as in the Soviet Union, it may be helpful for him to learn at the outset that I spent close to six years in Cuba (1962-1968), following a period of more than three years in the USSR.

Aside from these remarks, the book needs no further explanation. It should "explain" itself, and if it fails to do so, no extended commentary on my part concerning my aims, methods, biases, and so on will be of much value. In the writing of history, as in the exploits of gastronomy, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating."

In connection with the writing of this book, I wish to express my appreciation for the many facilities provided by Simon Fraser University . . .

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