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A history of Cuba as reflected by the dynasty of the famous Barcardi rum family traces five generations during which they served as an example of business and civic leadership while alternately fighting for national freedom and honoring their country as exiles. 30,000 first printing.
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Tom Gjelten is a veteran correspondent for NPR on international issues, and a regular panelist on the PBS program Washington Week. His reporting from Sarajevo won him a George Polk Award for excellence in radio reporting. He is the author of Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege.From Publishers Weekly:
The commonplace view of Cuba's prerevolutionary business establishment as a corrupt kleptocracy is revised in this intriguing history of the Bacardi rum company and its involvement in Cuban politics. NPR correspondent Gjelten (Sarajevo Daily) paints the 146-year-old distiller, once an icon of Cuban industry, as a model corporate citizen—efficient, innovative, socially responsible and union-tolerant. Its leaders were pillars of nationalist politics, he contends: company president Emilio Bacardi was a leader of Cuba's rebellion against Spain, and in the 1950s CEO José Bosch helped fund Castro's insurrection. (After Castro nationalized Bacardi's Cuban holdings, Bosch started funding anti-Castro exiles.) Bacardi's image as Cuban-nationalism-in-a-bottle becomes farcical when the company, now a multinational behemoth, fights an absurd court battle with Cuba's state rum company over the Havana Club trademark. But Gjelten's account of a liberal, progressive Cuban business clan complicates and enriches the conventional picture of a society torn between right and left dictatorships. (Sept.)
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