Red Heat: Book summary and reviews of Red Heat by Alex Von Tunzelmann

Red Heat

Conspiracy, Murder, and the Cold War in the Caribbean

by Alex Von Tunzelmann

Red Heat by Alex Von Tunzelmann

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Book Summary

During the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, the Caribbean was in crisis. The men responsible included, from Cuba, the charismatic Fidel Castro, and his mysterious brother Raúl; from Argentina, the ideologue Che Guevara; from the Dominican Republic, the capricious psychopath Rafael Trujillo; and from Haiti, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier, a buttoned-down doctor with interests in Vodou, embezzlement and torture.

Alex von Tunzelmann's brilliant narrative follows these five rivals and accomplices from the beginning of the Cold War to its end, each with a separate vision for his tropical paradise, and each in search of power and adventure as the United States and the USSR acted out the world's tensions in their island nations. The superpowers thought they could use Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic as puppets, but what neither bargained on was that their puppets would come to life. Red Heat is an intimate account of the strong-willed men who, armed with little but words and ruthlessness, took on the most powerful nations on earth.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [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

"This is a deplorable chapter in American history, and von Tunzelmann wants to make certain we know that. Red Heat is thorough in scope and quite readable. Still, this young British writer (born in 1977) is so scolding in tone that her book is harder to finish than it should be." - New York Times

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Author Information

Alex Von Tunzelmann Author Biography

Alex von Tunzelmann was educated at Oxford and lives in London. She is the author of Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire and Red Heat. She has been recognized as a Financial Times Young Business Writer of the Year. Tunzelmann writes Reel History, a weekly column about historical movies for The Guardian Film Online.

Link to Alex Von Tunzelmann's Website

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