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Edgar F. Raines Jr.’s The Rucksack War: U.S. Army Operational Logistics in Grenada, 1983 provides an account of how Armylogistics affected ground operations during the Grenada intervention and, in turn, how combat influenced logistical performance. Noteworthy is the emphasis on the role of individuals and the decisions they made based on the necessarily incomplete and sometimes misleading information available at the time during an unexpected and short-notice contingency operation. The narrative ranges from the meetings of the National Security Council, where the president grappled with the question of whether to send in troops, to the jungle environs of Grenada, where a sergeant in combat coped successfully with a Cuban ambush even though he and his men were handicapped by a lack of hand grenades.
During the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804, arguably the most radical revolution of the modern world, slaves and former slaves succeeded in ending slavery and establishing an independent state. Yet on the Spanish island of Cuba barely fifty miles distant, the events in Haiti helped usher in the antithesis of revolutionary emancipation. When Cuban planters and authorities saw the devastation of the neighboring colony, they rushed to fill the void left in the world market for sugar, to buttress the institutions of slavery and colonial rule, and to prevent ‘another Haiti’ from happening in their own territory.
In The Double Life of Fidel Castro, one of Castro’s soldiers of 17 years breaks his silence and shares his memoir of years of service, and eventual imprisonment and torture for displeasing the notorious dictator, and his dramatic escape from Cuba. Responsible for protecting the Lider maximo for two decades, Juan Reinaldo Sánchez was party to his secret life – because everything around Castro was hidden. From the ghost town in which guerrillas from several continents were trained, to his immense personal fortune – including a huge property portfolio, a secret paradise island, and seizure of public money – as well as his relationship with his family and his nine children from five different partners.S
Ever since Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria onto what is today San Salvador, in the Bahamas, and announced that he had arrived in the Orient, the Caribbean has been a stage for projected fantasies and competition between world powers. In Empire’s Crossroads, British American historian Carrie Gibson traces the story of this coveted area from the northern rim of South America up to Cuba, and from discovery through colonialism to today, offering a vivid, panoramic view of this complex region and its rich, important history.A
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