By 1845 Thomas Jefferson had died leaving behind a sizable debt and Monticello, his home, which had to be rescued from total destruction. New York City had expanded to 115th Street with Central Park in the design board. The rich were north of Washington Square and the City in the hands of unscrupulous politicos. Corruption was everywhere, side by side with opulent stores and elegant clubs for ruthless tycoons. In the midst of all this, Cuban-born Miguel de Aldama seeks refuge in the city from the Spanish metropolis. He fraternizes with the Vanderbilts, the Astors and the Belmonts. His fortune and his credit lead him to offer $100 million to buy the Island of Cuba. Unwilling to wait forever for an answer, he becomes the underwriter of the Ten Year Cuban War of Independence, to which he pledges all of his assets. This is the story of the convergence of a failed attempt of the Cubans to gain independence, the generosity of men offering their lives and fortunes for an ideal and the stubbornness of a failed empire wishing to retain its possessions at any cost.
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RAUL EDUARDO CHAO received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University at age 25 and after a brief stint in industry spent 16 years in academe, as full professor and Chairman of the Departments of Chemical Engineering at the Universities of Puerto Rico and Detroit. He founded in 1986 a very successful management consultancy, The Systema Group, to assist companies and government agencies to develop positive work environments and to institute process improvement techniques as the means to secure improvements in quality and productivity. In that capacity he had as clients many Fortune 100 companies and government agencies both in the USD and abroad. He has written half a dozen books and numerous articles in refereed journals. He and his wife Olga live in Coral Gables and Paris.Review:
Chao takes us by the hand on a trip which is at the same time a lesson of history, architecture, philosophy, politics and even fashion. It is impossible not to enjoy his descriptions and his knowledge. A delicious work. --Belkis Cuza Male, El Nuevo Herald
Freedom is always earned with the blood and sacrifice of a few who are willing to overcome indiference, injustice and unfairness for the benefit of the many. This book recalls the sacrifices and frustrations that it takes to persist in a good cause. It is a breath of refreshing good air very much needed in our times. --Grace Andrews, PhD, University of New York at Albany
I keep returning to the pages of Baragua to enjoy the fluency and scholarly presentation of the author and to marvel at the ease with which he presents the complex nature of a conflict of two civilizations clashing for the right to control their destinies. There is a suspense in the background -waiting for good news or bad news- that you intuitively sense and does not allow you to put the book aside until the following day. It is a clear and marvelous style that fascinates the reader and continues to show that life and historical accounts can be as misterious and unpredictable as any work of fiction. I have recommended this book to all my friends. --Ralph Henderson, author and critic, Boston
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Book Description Dupont Circle Editions, 2009. Perfect Paperback. Book Condition: New. Luciano Franchi-Alfaro (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M097917774X
Book Description Dupont Circle Editions, 2009. Perfect Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11097917774X