BookBrowse Reviews The Sugar King of Havana by John Paul Rathbone

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The Sugar King of Havana

The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Tycoon

by John Paul Rathbone

The Sugar King of Havana by John Paul Rathbone
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2010, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2011, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

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The rise and fall of sugar magnate Julio Lobo mirrors Cuba's turbulent history in this new biography

In The Sugar King of Havana, John Paul Rathbone tells about the rise and fall of sugar mogul Julio Lobo, one of Cuba's most powerful and wealthiest businessmen in the decades before the Cuban Revolution. Lobo's fortune made him more than just rich; in a country where, today, personal wealth and property ownership is illegal, Lobo's affluence elevated him to legendary status. As Rathbone explains, "In Havana today to have Croesus-like wealth is referred to as ser rico como un Julio Lobo - to be as rich as a Julio Lobo. After almost five decades of communism… he has become emblematic of a way of life that existed… before Castro's revolution did away with such men." And certainly the events of Lobo's life - glamorous love affairs, extreme financial risks (with both positive and negative outcomes), numerous attempts on his life, an unyielding entrepreneurial drive, and a fateful ...

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