Ten Days in Harlem (inbunden)
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Faber & Faber
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Ten Days in Harlem

Fidel Castro and the Making of the 1960s

Inbunden,  Engelska, 2020-09-03
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Rising star Simon Hall captures the spirit of the 1960s in ten days that revolutionised the Cold War: Fidel Castro's visit to New York. 'With its cool judgements and blackly comic sense of irony, Hall's book is a rare pleasure to read.' DOMINIC SANDBROOK, Literary Review 'A lively account . . . Ten Days in Harlem doesn't stint on piquant detail.' LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS '[A] perceptive, thoroughly researched and readable study.' IRISH TIMES New York City, September 1960. Fidel Castro - champion of the oppressed, scourge of colonialism, and leftist revolutionary - arrives for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. His visit to the UN represents a golden opportunity to make his mark on the world stage. Fidel's shock arrival in Harlem is met with a rapturous reception from the local African American community. He holds court from the iconic Hotel Theresa as a succession of world leaders, black freedom fighters and counter-cultural luminaries - everyone from Nikita Khrushchev to Gamal Abdel Nasser, Malcolm X to Allen Ginsberg - come calling. Then, during his landmark address to the UN General Assembly - one of the longest speeches in the organisation's history - he promotes the politics of anti-imperialism with a fervour, and an audacity, that makes him an icon of the 1960s. In this unforgettable slice of modern history, Simon Hall reveals how these ten days were a foundational moment in the trajectory of the Cold War, a turning point in the history of anti-colonial struggle, and a launching pad for the social, cultural and political tumult of the decade that followed.
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"A sharply focused study of Fidel Castro's significant visit to New York City for the opening session of the U.N. in September 1960. Although Castro was only in New York for 10 days, Hall, a professor of modern history, argues that his stay had a powerful effect in terms of galvanizing the forces of black civil rights, promoting the politics of anti-imperialism, and freezing the already icy relations between the U.S. and Soviet Union. Moreover, the visit "all but guaranteed a decisive and fateful rupture in US-Cuban relations." After a wide-ranging scene-setter in which the author marshals the seismic historical events occurring at the time--e.g., the last months of Dwight Eisenhower's presidential tenure, the "crisis" in Belgian Congo that led to independence, the Soviet downing of an American U-2 spy plane, the beginning of the sit-ins at Woolworth's lunch counters and elsewhere to protest segregation--Hall moves chronologically, organizing his work by each day's activities in the Cuban delegation's schedule. Especially illuminating is the author's account of the delegation's stunning move from the midtown Shelburne Hotel, where they felt unwelcome, to the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, where the entire neighborhood turned out rapturously and Castro held court with such luminaries as Malcolm X, Nikita Khrushchev, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Jawaharlal Nehru. On Sept. 26, Castro's nearly five-hour speech to the General Assembly--which, "according to one wag...covered everything except the dispute between Britain and Iceland over the sardine harvest"--upstaged those by Eisenhower and Khrushchev and memorably gave his young country a voice and the "people's revolution" the attention of the world. In a narrative packed with fascinating historical detail and terrific photos, Hall makes an engaging argument that Castro's trip established his reputation as "hero for the oppressed peoples of the world"--and spurred leftist movements everywhere. A highly readable, engaging, astute microhistory of an overlooked event." -- Kirkus "Hall's informative, page-turning account captures the cultural and political tumult of the era, and the fervent idealism that made Castro a revolutionary icon. Political history buffs will want to take a look." -- Publisher's Weekly "Simon Hall captures Castro's action-packed September 1960 New York sojourn in rich and compelling detail, and argues persuasively that its repercussions echoed deeply in the decade to come." -- New York Journal of Books "Simon Hall's Ten Days in Harlem: Fidel Castro and the Making of the 1960s tells the story of a riotous and remarkable short period in which the Cuban leader firmly planted the flag of the Cuban revolution on the geopolitical map. It was, Hall writes in his well-researched book, compelling, entertaining and at times scarcely believable." -- Andrew Downie , Americas Quarterly "Fidel Castro's 1960 visit to New York was the Third World's great coming-out, and Simon Hall has captured this catalytic moment like no one before. Anyone interested in the "Global Sixties" must read Ten Days in Harlem." -- Van E. Gosse, Professor and Associate Chair of History, Program Chair of Africana Studies, Franklin & Marshall College

Övrig information

Simon Hall studied history at Sheffield and Cambridge, and held a Fox International Fellowship at Yale, before moving to the University of Leeds, where he is currently Professor of Modern History. His previous books include 1956: The World in Revolt (Faber).