Red Heat

ISBN 13: 9781847374509

Red Heat

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9781847374509: Red Heat
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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 Heat is 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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About the Author:

Alex von Tunzelmann is the author of Indian Summer. She was educated at Oxford and lives in London.

Review:

'Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, Tunzelmann's much-praised book takes readers on a whistle-stop tour of America's relations with its Caribbean neighbours during the Cold War' Independent 19/4 'The agonies the US choices inflicted make for painful reading but Von Tunzelmann's book cracks along at a sometimes blurry pace, highlighting tragicomic anecdotes. This is an impressive attempt to capture the tumultuous events that shook the post-war Caribbean and has left it reeling' Siobhan Murphy, Metro 13/4 'Von Tunzelmann writes with the same verve and range of material she deployed in Indian Summer, a praised treatment of the end of the British Empire' John Paul Rathbone, FT 30/4

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