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Publisher's Summary

For decades, people have tried to persuade the leader of the Cuban Revolution to tell his own life story. Ignacio Ramonet, the celebrated editor in chief of Le Monde diplomatique, has finally succeeded. For the first time, in a series of extensive and probing interviews, Fidel Castro describes his life from the 1950s to the present day. In frank and compelling detail, he discusses his parents and his childhood, his earliest influences, the beginnings of the revolution, his relationship with Che Guevara, the drama of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Jimmy Carter years, Cuban migration to the United States, his dealings with successive American presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush, and his relationship with such controversial leaders as Saddam Hussein and Hugo Chavez.

Along the way, Ramonet challenges Castro to discuss his views on a number of controversial questions, from human rights and freedom of the press to the repression of homosexuality and the survival of the death penalty in Cuba. This book will stand as the definitive record of an extraordinary life lived in turbulent times.

©2006 Ignacio Ramonet (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Enormously fascinating." ( Booklist)
"A book of great importance to anyone interested in contemporary history and current events." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Fidel Castro

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

In His Own Words

First, I am not pro-Castro. However, having spend some time in his Cuba I was interested in what this head of state had to say. I wanted to get a glimpse of Castro the man. "Fidel Castro: My Life" has gotten me about as close to the man as I could get.

Ignacio Ramonet has spent over 100 hours interviewing Castro. Those thoughts are contained here. The book follows a Q&A format which is helpful. The prose is polished and well read by two readers. One reads the questions and the second plays the part of Castro.

Whatever your attitude toward the Revolution, this book is very interesting. The stories, even from Castro's perspective, are engaging and informative.

The book has a rather lengthy introduction. If you are pro-Revolution, you will be rewarded. If you are anti-Castro, you might not continue the book. I was a little put off, but greatly rewarded for continuing on and opening my mind to the narrative. The introduction is also helpful and should not be skipped because Ramonet details his interview and writing methodology.

Listen to the book if you believe it is fiction. Listen if you believe in Castro.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thrilling Story Despite Your Personal Politics

What made the experience of listening to Fidel Castro the most enjoyable?

This book is written as an interview conducted with Castro over several weeks in the mid-2000's. The narrators both have neutral American accents and makes for easy and enjoyable listening. From the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks to the Sierra Maestra to Cuban Missile Crisis to the fall of the Soviets the author (not Castro) gives a meticulous engineers' diagram of the situation in Cuba.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Greatest Story The Government Doesn't Want You To Know

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, not so great narration

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator for Castro's voice could not pronounce many of the Spanish words which was a bit annoying.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed it. Very informative.

6 people found this helpful

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  • PK
  • 12-07-19

Awesome

Felt like listening to grandpa! Very informativeand captivating. Plus it is an invite to more research

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved it! eye opener in many ways.

loved it! eye opener in many ways. Have an open mind. History is told ny the winner.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The voice of Castro

The audio book is like Fidel is speaking right next to you. I enjoy the insights provided by this amazing revolutionary hero.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant story of a brilliant man

Castro was one of the most brilliant men of the 20th century, regardless of the capitalist media lies

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible first accounts by Fidel Castro

Remarkably & astounding. Fidel Castro book is very insightful and pushes the envelope on perspective taking. One thing is for sure Cuba and Castro has done a great deal of humanitarian work.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Content, Terrible Narrator

I really wanted to learn about Castro's history, and I have to say his story (as told to an interviewer) doesn't disappoint! What an adventure this guy's life was, and what a moral and strategic mind he had!

The narrator, however, all but ruins it. I am only halfway through it and I'm still laughing involuntarily at the surprisingly bad ways in which this dollar-store Rod Serling trips over VERY easy Spanish pronunciation. When casting the narrator for this audiobook, did nobody ask, "Should we make sure the guy playing FIDEL CASTRO can pronounce a Spanish word or two?"

The big one I really can't ignore is his continued mispronunciation of the word, "Cubans." He's speaking English, so it should be "kyu-buns". If you're speaking Spanish, you'd say, "koo-bah-nos," (Cubanos), but he does this weird cross-pollination that is neither. He says, "koo-buns." There is no such word as Koobun or Koobuns!

Unfortunately this narrator regularly turns fascinating war stories and anecdotes into unintentional comedy, pronouncing words like "Moncada," as "mahn-cada"; "campesino" as "cump-e-see-no"; "Rafael" as "ruff-fell"; and even pronounced a long ā sound in the word, "organizaciones." C'mon, dude....

Why is it hard to find one person who can capably pronounce ordinary Spanish words, to play the very famous and important Fidel Castro for something as significant as the recording of his autobiography? I don't want to be a jerk but I gotta be honest: The bad vocal performance makes it REALLY difficult to stay in the story, because it keeps snapping you out of it with each (frequent) mispronounced Spanish word.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Manipulated Reality

Facts speak for themselves when propaganda manipulates what we hear. When I told my friend I was listening ti a book about Castro, his immediate reaction was “Ah... the dictator?!” Although he knew nothing about Cuba or its people.

So many facts are distorted in our Meissen life to serve a purpose and the elite.

Listen to this book without prejudice

3 people found this helpful