A well-written and flowing narrative, this new biography of young Fidel Castro, which ends with the overthrow of the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship on January 1, 1959, provides detailed information about Castro's youth and early adulthood, including interesting new details about his Galician father Ángel and his very humble origins, which are helpful to understand why the cultural style of the wealthy Castros differed from other wealthy Cuban families.

For this reason, this new volume complements previous Castro biographies by English-speaking authors, such as Robert E. Quirk and Lionel Martin, and Spanish-speaking ones, like Mario Mencía, Katiuska Blanco Castiñeira, and Ignacio Ramonet. Nevertheless, its political analysis is flawed, to a great extent because of Jonathan Hansen's failure to distinguish the various political currents that existed in mid-twentieth-century Cuba. One example is his mischaracterization of Castro's politics before the victory of the Cuban Revolution...

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