“The Day Fidel Died,” by Patrick Symmes, is published by Vintage Shorts on Oct. 31 as an e-book.
“The Day Fidel Died” is a sweeping history of Cuba under Fidel Castro, told through a single year, the 2016 of Obama’s unprecedented visit, a Rolling Stones tour of Havana, and the Maximum Leader’s own stuttering funeral. Delving into the origin stories of the Castro brothers and ranging forward to Raul’s awkward eulogy, the book interrogates the 90-year legacy of Fidel, and calculates which forces will continue to shape Cuba long after he is gone. Braided with fresh reporting from Obama’s cobblestone tour of Havana and two revealing journeys, one on foot and one by broken-down bus, the book offers deep testimony to the economic reforms changing even far corners of the island, and also police repression continuing in the alleys of Havana. Ultimately, “The Day Fidel Died” is about the strength of Cubans and their robust defense of freedoms.