Red Heat

Red Heat : Conspiracy, Murder and the Cold War in the Caribbean

4.22 (304 ratings by Goodreads)
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America's secret war in the Caribbean during the Cold War is revealed as never before in this riveting story of the machinations and blunders of superpowers, and the daring of the mavericks who took them on.

During the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, the Caribbean was in crisis, while the United States and the USSR acted out the world's rising tensions in its island nations. Meanwhile the leaders of these nations - the charismatic Fidel Castro, and his mysterious brother Raul; the ideologue Che Guevara; the capricious psychopath Rafael Trujillo; and Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, a buttoned-down doctor with interests in Vodou, embezzlement and torture - had ambitions of their own.

Alex von Tunzelmann's brilliant narrative follows these five rivals and accomplices from the beginning of the Cold War to its end. The superpowers thought they could use these Caribbean leaders as puppets, but what neither bargained on was that their puppets would come to life. The United States, in its all-consuming fight against communism, stumbled into one disaster after another. First, with the Bay of Pigs, and then with the Cuban Missile Crisis, it helped bring the world as close to catastrophic nuclear war as it has ever been. Red Heatis an authoritative and eye-opening account of a wildly dramatic and dangerous era of international politics that has unmistakable resonance today.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 528 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 33.02mm | 390g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 16pp b-w
  • 1847394590
  • 9781847394590
  • 227,162

Review quote

"Depicts the swaggering, corrupt, erratic, and often violent years of rule by Fidel Castro of Cuba, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, and Francois Duvalier of Haiti. Suitcases full of cash, torture chambers, gunboats, coups, dictatorship, and revolutionary fervor spill out of these pages....Captures the missile crisis as a frightening and real dance of knives in a dusty Caribbean cockfighting square." --David E. Hoffman, "The Washington Post
""Deftly juggles the stories of three countries---Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic---and their relationships with the superpowers, where things were not as they seemed...Von Tunzelmann tells stories so bizarre as to be beyond any but the most grotesque horror films....It is good to see this tale, so often seen in world terms, as part of a contiguous regional story." --"The Guardian" (London) "A sweeping history...Von Tunzelmann writes with the same verve and range of material she deployed in "Indian Summer," a praised treatment of the end of the [Indian] British Empire." --"Financial Times" (London)
"A mesmerizing, Conradian tale where the truth is almost too dark to bear. A remarkably gripping popular history." --"Kirkus Reviews
""Von Tunzelmann's diligent work will widen the eyes of cold war buffs." --"Booklist

Praise for "Indian Summer""Irresistible . . . A fascinating book that may well change how we look on the benighted world in which we live today." --"Los Angeles Times
""Stirring . . . Von Tunzelmann's brisk narrative is propelled forward by the personalities of five memorable individuals who all wanted and worked for independence. . . . Absorbingly readable." --"Fortune
""["Red""Heat"] removes the veil from the colorful personalities and events behind India's independence and partition with Pakistan. . . . Von Tunzelmann writes with authority and confidence." --"The Washington Post
""[A] captivating group portrait, pulling forth the most telling de
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About Alex von Tunzelmann

Alex von Tunzelmann lives in London. She read history at University College, Oxford, and afterwards worked as a researcher on books for authors including Jeremy Paxman, Felicity Lawrence, John Kay and Alison Wolf. Her first book, Indian Summer, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2007.
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Rating details

304 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 41% (124)
4 43% (131)
3 14% (43)
2 2% (5)
1 0% (1)
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