Haydée Santamaría was the only woman participant in every stage of Cuba's revolutionary struggle. At the July 26, 1953, attack on the Moncada Barracks that catapulted the young revolutionaries into national consciousness, she was captured, tortured, and launched into revolutionary legend when she refused to inform on her comrades even when confronted with the torture and execution of her beloved brother and her fiancé. Released from prison, her critical roles in the six years of clandestine struggle after Moncada included arranging bombings, smuggling and distributing the imprisoned Fidel Castro's writings, including his seminal “History Will Absolve Me,” and traveling to the United States to buy arms from the mafia. She was in the United States when Fulgencio Batista fled; she returned to the island, where Fidel gave her, a provincial with barely an elementary school education, a surprising mission: to fight against...

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