Bringing together long-buried historical information and English's own research in Havana - including interviews with the era's key survivors - Havana Nocturne takes listeners back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island's brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom.
But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others who would lead the country's disenfranchised to overthrow their corrupt government and its foreign partners - an epic cultural battle that English captures in all its sexy, decadent, ugly glory.
©2008 T. J. English; (P)2008 Tantor
"English's engaging narrative reads with the gripping quality of fiction: the dark underworld of Havana comes to life....Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Crime writer English...unfolds a story whose main outline will be familiar to any fan of The Godfather: Part II, but whose twists and turns no screenplay could keep up with." (Kirkus Reviews)
I wanted some background history of Cuba before I travel there but sometimes history can be dry. This book was fascinating--well written and well orated. It gave me a great perspective on the convoluted relationship the US and Cuba have had for decades. I had no previous idea of the role the American Mob played in their history. I have recommended this book to several friends.
Haven't but will in the future.
yes the mobs payoffs to goverment
JFK's time in Cuba
the meeting Charlie lucky and friends
a great book about Cuba
Would have to wait for couple months.
In depth background history of gang mobsters from 20s throujgh early 50s.
Pulls relationship of Myer Lansky et al with Fidel Castro. Very interesting dual path within one story
Havana rock n' roll, sex and drugs of the 30s-through 50s
I have always heard of the Cuban society as a mix of legend, cliche and myth and it was fascinating to me to get a glimpse of what the life and lifestyle was like.
Be kind to someone today.
The book read like an engrossing novel. My husband and I read it together. Our dinner conversations became enjoyable mini-book club discussions. I highly recommend this book to those who are fascinated with the seamier side of Ameican history, and, of course, the American mob. Great book.
It was a dream that almost came true for organized crime - a country of there own that could of opened the door to the rest of the world.
Like most people, my view of the near take over of Cuba by the Mob, was what I saw in the Godfather Part II. It's a case of the real events being ever better than that great movie. This book is an easy and powerful listen, that is loaded with all kinds of interesting tidbits that keeps you wanting to find more - and the author delivers. This is a very good listen, enjoy!
The narrator's voice is irritating and he sounds like he is pontificating.
The english grammar and use of language is poor; original work needs to be better written and more importantly, better edited. A third could have been cut which would have greatly improved the story. As a Canadian, I don't mind the left wing point of view but the author throws statements out without sufficient detail to support his arguments or further his story. This can be very irritating.
Offers a fascinating look into an interesting and important period, and provides a real challenge to those who think Castro is evil.
“Havane Nocturne” is a very entertaining account of Havana mob and all intrigues that were going on in Cuba during the 50-es. It reads like Godfather. However, as far as political analysis of Castro revolution is concern, it is either very na?ve or misleading on purpose. There is no mention of the fact that revolution in Cuba was a communist revolution from the beginning. The author stubbornly avoids the reality that from the beginning Castro movement was supported by KGB both with money and arms and that Soviet advisors trained and advised Castro and his adherents. It is really indigenous that the author did not mention even once a huge role that the Soviet Union played in Cuban revolution. It is sad that the only word of wisdom in this book was spoken by old Meyer Lansky who realized right away that Castro regime would be a communist regime which would bring a lot of suffering, death, hunger, and economic disaster to the country. He said it based on his own experience.
There is a version of Cuba, and over all the players in this part of Cuba's history, that is crafted and told as gospel by US media and culture; this book peals back that story and looks at how it all went down in the eyes of those who were there.
Not in an overly sympathetic way, nor overly critical, but with fascinating characters and in a way that makes unique connections between events that I thought I knew about.
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