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Bacardi y la larga lucha por Cuba

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  374 ratings  ·  83 reviews
La historia del ron más famoso se inicia en 1862, cuando Don Facundo Bacardí adquirió una destilería y empezó a fabricar una bebida que hasta entonces sólo consumían obreros y marineros. Acercándola al gran público de multitud de países, los Bacardí lograron convertirse en una de las empresas familiares cubanas más importantes. No sólo tuvieron éxito económico, sino que pa ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published November 2011 by Principal de los Libros (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,076)
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I bought 5 books for my trip to Cuba and ended up reading parts and skimming most.

This was the best non-fiction history, but it dig bog down a bit on the deep details of the Bacardi family. The best part for me were the years up to the revolution, the revolution and the initial period after the revolution triumphed and the beginnings of the anti-Castro movement in exile.

Our tour guide guide was superb for the week in Cuba, and while I had feared that she (as an employee of the state) would be e
Exhaustively reported. One-third detailed history of the Bacardi family in Cuba, one-third thrilling tale of revolution and exile, one-third excruciating minutiae about international patent law. What I learned: All dictators are evil. All politics are corrupt. Buy rum from an independent distillery.
This book was recommended by a good friend and, to be honest, my expectations were not all that high. Was I surprised! This is a very interesting account of the origins and evolution of one of the largest family-owned businesses in the world, from Facundo Bacardi’s origins in Catalonia to his migration and creation of a rum business in Santiago Cuba, which ultimately expanded to the rest of the world. Most fascinating, the story is told in the context of Cuban history and the frustrated desires ...more
Have you ever picked up a bottle of Bacardi rum and, studying the label, wondered, Who is Ron Bacardi? Well then—at long last—here is your introduction to Ron and the entire Bacardi clan. In keeping with its weighty title, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba covers over 150 years of Cuban history as viewed through the amber-tinted lens of the Bacardi Rum Empire.

Gjelten’s expansive account traces five successive generations of the Bacardi family, which has comprised—variously—Cuban patriots, meti
The history of the Bacardi family in Cuba is really the history of modern Cuba, and anybody interested in that or in the history of America's on-again-mostly-off-again relationship with Cuba should read this book. Also this is a must-read for anybody interested in business, as its also the history of a highly successful global business. The CEO at the time of the Revolution, Pepin Bosch, was probably one of the most savvy business leaders in history. This book totally changed my view of the Cuba ...more
Tammy Tanner
Like many non-fiction historical books, this book was a bit dry in places, which is the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars. Being from central Florida, I was fasciated by the subject matter, so I plowed through the dry parts, and actually much of it was page-turning and very entertaining. I learned things I had never suspected about the US relationship with Cuba, dating back to well before Castro's time. And I learned about Cuba's dynamic with the Soviet Union and, more recently, with the Chin ...more
I am generally not a big reader of non-fiction, but I really enjoyed this book. It's a fascinating account of Cuba's recent history through the eyes of the Bacardi family -- which was at the heart of each of Cuba's revolutionary struggles, from its initial efforts to gain independence from Spain to Castro's ascent to power (eventually culminating in 1959) and then as the pre-eminent player in the various efforts by the Cuban exile community to undermine Castro's regime. The book also traces the ...more
Jarrod Reid
I would have to say a very high 4 1/2 for this one. If you are a fan of history, or business, or business history or love political intrigue, this is the book for you.
But it's also a story of family and sacrifice and taking risks in order to better oneself against the odds.
And then there's the rum, which conjures up any number of memories and could potentially zip you off to Santiago and the warm nights watching a Cuban sunset.
This book hooked me almost instantly as a fan of family history an

There are really two parts to Tom Gjelten's Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba (2008). The first is a history of Cuba from the 1860s to the 1960s, centered on Bacardi and the city of Santiago. The second is a narrative of how Bacardi became global and also obsessed with fighting Fidel Castro. The Bacardi company went from being an icon of Cuba to a conglomerate struggling to maintain a Cuban identity.

The first part is excellent. Bacardi was in the mi
John Hood

Bound September 18, 08

Rum Punch

Tom Gjelten Chronicles La Familia Bacardi

By John Hood

Castro is nothing, compared to Bacardi. Okay, so the former had a little Revolution, and in some form or another has been holding on to dear power for nearly 50 years. But outside of Miami and Havana, Fidel’s surname is seldom spoken.

Not so Bacardi, which gets said just about every time anyone, anywhere orders a Cuba Libre. And if it doesn’t get said, it still gets served, n
and a half. Shortly after Castro takes over, about 2/3rds of the way through (the guy ruins everything--including the narrative), the Bacardi family tree has grown so intricate and confusing (it doesn't help that they name half their offspring "Facundo") that the book stopped being fun for me. Not only are there too many Bacardis at this point, but they also start forming an endless number of organizations with interchangeable acronyms (FRD, CRC, RECE, CANF). That, combined with their somewhat t ...more
Nov 28, 2008 JoeM rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: drinkers of rum or those interested in Cuban history.
Shelves: read-in-08
I liked this book. When I was younger, I knew members of the Bacardi family. I met them in Mexico City when I was in my early teens. Aside from the recognizable surname, I had no idea about their family history. This book presents the family's complex relationship with its homeland in as clear and seemingly unbiased way as possible given the history of the Cuban nation.

Some of the family members I know were in the book. I am now interested in hearing their reviews of the book and what they perso
Massimo Monteverdi
Riciclando, suo malgrado, l'ultra-britannico motto: giusto o sbagliato, è il mio Paese, la famiglia Bacardi fu così connessa alla storia e allo spirito cubano che vien voglia di aprirne subito una bottiglia. Le generazioni si susseguivano, gli oppressori anche: dalla Spagna agli USA, da Batista a Fidel. Ma, anche dall'esilio in Florida, l'amore per la madrepatria non smise mai di essere distillato.
Extensive, thorough, and objective account of Cuba, rum, and the Bacardi Family. I'm married to a Cubana and I didn't know Bacardi was Cuban-that's embarassing. I thought they were Puerto Rican. That was because of their extensive efforts to re-brand themselves after Fidel appropriated the company. I didn't know they owned the breweries in Cuba-Hatuey Beer. Bacardis were fighters for Cuba against Spain. They welcomed Castro and realized too late he was not the answer. Bacardi is thriving today b ...more
Catherine Woodman
This is a story that I was completely unfamiliar with but is a great one--the Bacardi family essentially created rum in Cuba that was of a decent quality and took it out of the realm of sailor drink and made it chic--and that may explain why all the good rum drinks also come out of Cuba--they had a commercial reason to push great rum cocktails. The Bacardi's were also big supporters of Cuban independence, which is why it is ironic that they then got pushed out of Cuba--about the last 60% of the ...more
I don't read a lot of books about wealthy families in exile but believe I may begin to do so after reading Gjelten's. fascinating history about Cuba's political history and this family's intimate ties to that as well as issues of self-identity and national identity.
Susan Hester
Really, really good history of the Bacardi family and their struggles to 1) make rum a worldwide beverage and 2) to deal with the socialization of companies under the Castro regime. While I really enjoyed it, I believe that Gjelten tried to both present a history of rum and its primo family and at the same time, to give a history of Cuba. Probably the latter could have been minimized a little more than it was, although it was interesting. If you are wanting to know about Cuba, don't expect that ...more
Fred Gorrell
A history of Cuba from colonial 19th century forward, told through a biography of the Bacardi family and companies. Though the book is a bit dry, it does a competent job of describing the events in Cuba that shaped the perspective of the family that owns this prominent corporation. One particularly intriguing detail, relevant to current day political discourse, is a concern about Ronald Reagan's perspective voiced during Reagan's campaign for the presidency by Pepin Bosch, the leader who transit ...more
A sweeping, yet accessible, history of the Bacardi family and their Cuban homeland. It paints a vivid portrait of each generation, and includes accounts and anecdotes that help shed light on the present day.
Margaret Sankey
The Bacardi family rose from being one cane raising rum producer among many through quality, marketing and fortuitous timing (seeing a promoting a modern brand during American prohibition, mostly), while supporting the generally liberal causes of Cuban politics--more independence from first Spain and then the US, protests against Batista and corruption. However, the hard turn of the Castro revolution to confiscation and asset seizure drove the Bacardis to Puerto Rico with their bat-labeled bottl ...more
Martin Doudoroff
Well-researched, highly readable popular history of Bacardi and Cuba (largely through the history of Bacardi). The first two thirds cover Bacardi's founding and evolution from a family business to a multinational company, spanning the independence of Cuba from Spain through the fall of the Batista dictatorship. The last third covers the history of Bacardi and Cuba during the Castro dictatorship. The book isn't about rum, per se, but it's probably still essential reading for anybody interested in ...more
Now, this was a well researched work. I was totally fascinated by the level of scholarship that went into this book. He paints quite the chronological picture of the history of the Company, the family members and the Cuban society. I really enjoyed how all the elements were tied together and explored from the varying perspectives of the main characters developed in the telling. I highly recommend this book for any aficionado of history and rum!!!
Temple Dog
The book was riveting. It combined the best of literary worlds, history, intrigue and contemporary context.

With the Obama's renewed interest in our volatile southern neighbor I found this book remarkably timely.

Additionally, Gjelten keeps you engaged with contemporary references i.e. Desi Arnaz 's connection and Raul's marriage to a Bacardi, while weaving them seamlessly into the historical fabric of the novel.

I could not put this book down and I highly recommend it to history, political and pr
Roger Castillo garcia
Un paso por la historia de cuba de la mano de la familia Bacardi, muy pero buen libro la verdad me impresiono todos los datos que contiene con exactitud, nos deja mucha nostalgia y lo mas bonito es q nos deja mucha esperanza. Uno de mis favoritos, disfruté mucho aprendiendo mas sobre mi país, algunas partes tristes en las que se define el rencor hacia ese líder que le arrebato a los cubanos todo. Todas las partes del libro bien escritas y sobre todo el final ese es mágico inspira
Very interesting book; told not only the history of the Bacardi family but also the history of Cuba itself. The writing style was pretty casual and easy to read...didn't get too bogged down like so many non-fiction books do.
As Tom Gjelten says in this excellent book, the story of modern Cuba is a tale of lost opportunities. The Bacardis, who came to Santiago de Cuba in the early 19th century from Catalonia, are the vehicle for helping us understand how Cuba got where it is. This is a business book as well as a history book, detailing the rise of a local family business into an international distilling conglomerate. Read this book for insights into Cuba's war for independence from Spain, the US role in shaping event ...more
My lord this was a hard slog, but also incredibly interesting. I am ashamed at how much I didn't know about rum in Cuba before reading this book. Suspect what I have learned will fuel many a barroom conversation.
Two good reasons to read this book, for Cuban history and for Bacardi family and company history. The two histories are intertwined, each revealing a lot about the other. It is easy reading, especially if one has a rudimentary knowledge of Cuban history, and Gjelten does a good job of adding color to what could have been dry and boring. Since I was really only interested in Cuban history, there were parts I skimmed, as did not give a whit about the history of rum.
Terrific read for anyone into Cuban history.
Generally a very good book on the Bacardis, colonial Santiago, and Fidel's nationalization of private companies following the Revolution.

Found the early history of the company and its backing of various revolutions the most captivating - the final chapters describing the the last two decades made me finish the book about 30 pages short of the end.

A bit of a dense read, but a great recount of a unique perspective of Bacardi dealing with Fidel.
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