If this book is to be believed, Cuba in 1958 was a veritable paradise. The strong-man turned author uses over four hundred pages to explain how under his leadership Cuba enacted the most advanced social legislation in the world, reached the heights of prosperity, and enjoyed “equal justice under law.” Who could have desired change under such a beneficent system? This, of course, is the central theme of the book. The International Communist conspiracy deliberately singled out Cuba to bring an end to such happiness and to eliminate one of the leading defenders of the “free world.” Indeed, this book is almost a repeat performance of the Garden of Eden saga, serpent and all.

The first six chapters present a sketchy history of Cuba from 1933 to 1959. Here Batista pictures himself as the man who brought true revolution to Cuba, established Cuban sovereignty vis-à-vis the United States, and prevented a Communist take over until he was undermined in 1958. The author stresses his role in establishing friendly relations with the United States and includes photographs showing himself in smiling poses with Cordell Hull and Dwight Eisenhower.

The remainder of the volume discuses the political, social, and economic programs of the Batista era. The accomplishments of these programs are described in rather exaggerated terms. In almost every chapter the author digresses in order to attack the Castro movement and the course which Cuba has followed since 1958. These chapters reach a climax with the one devoted to religion. The reader is informed that pre-Castro Cuba was a devoutly Christian country and that Fulgencio Batista was the very epitome of this religious fervor. The author cites as evidence of this the invocation of the “favor of God” in the preamble of the Constitution of 1940 and the erection of a monument to Christ (“with appropriate illumination”) overlooking Havana harbor. As one would expect, Castro is labled “the anti-Christ.”

Batista gives little attention to a number of vital points. Among these are his periods of cooperation with the Communists, the “golpe de estado” of 1952, the brutal suppression of the student movement in 1935, and the problem of Communist strength in a country run by such a dedicated anti-Communist. The most interesting problem of all, however, is why there was so much dissatisfaction in such an earthly paradise.