Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bacardi y la larga lucha por Cuba” as Want to Read:
Bacardi y la larga lucha por Cuba
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bacardi y la larga lucha por Cuba

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  615 Ratings  ·  108 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 02, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 06, 2017 Zahreen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well-written history of Cuba
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.
Mar 14, 2017 Nanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great history of Cuba. The book starts in the 1800s with the Spanish occupation of Cuba and goes through about 2008. The author does a great job weaving Cuban history into the Bacardi story and keeps it very interesting. I finished the book while laying on the beach in Havana, and felt like it gave me a very good, though basic, understanding of Cuba. Before reading the book I had watched a documentary about Castro that led me to believe that he wasn't all that bad of a guy. Reading this book def ...more
John Hood
Sep 21, 2008 John Hood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Mar 08, 2017 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book tried to read like a text book but was far to interesting to skip parts or put down for long. It packed a lot of information into some fascinating reading. Well done!
Jan 06, 2017 Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting presentation of a family business and the evolution of Cuba in the process. Gjeften presents this well and tunes it into the various Cuban governments - originally I thought it might have been a commission vanity book for the family but I found that in the end I believe it was a reasonably accurate portrayal of people and power and freedom over several generations. Sadly in the end the achilles heel of American politics was exposed by the recounting of efforts to buy members of Co ...more
When one picks-up a 400+ page non-fiction book, it is an excellent sign when the final 40 or so pages are footnotes. When the author can actually write, one is in for a treat.

Not only is the subject matter vastly interesting, spanning the history of Bacardi Rum from the 1860's to 2008, the tome is incredibly readable. The author took joy in this little project and the hard work, research, and editing truly paid off into a very readable micro-history.

The Bacardi's--originally Spanish but quickly
Feb 26, 2017 Mona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would actually be a 3.5 stars. An excellent read for anyone heading to Cuba. The Barcadi family was very involved in the social, business and revolutionary history of Cuba. This book is great overview of almost 200 years of Cuba history. Sometime it gets a bit bogged down, but for a history book it quite a good read!
May 30, 2011 Gregory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Todd Stockslager
Jun 05, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Soulful blend of genealogy, biography and history tells the story of the Bacardi family of Cuba and the rum that made them famous. Beginning in the middle of the 19th century, the story covers an incredible span of history, from the fight against the Spanish colonial masters through the paternalistic and not entirely disinterested liberation by the United States and the brief interlude of self-government to the bitter end of independent Cuban freedom to the right-wing dictatorship of Batista and ...more
Aug 29, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
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
Though just history early on, this is truly a very interesting history by an NPR journalist, and published in 2008, a decade before my family spends a week in Cuba during March of 2017.

The Bacardis of Cuba, a strong dynastic family builders of a rum distillery and a worldwide brand, came of age with their nation and helped define what it meant to be Cuban. Across five generations, the Bacardi family has held fast to its Cuban identity, even in exile from the country for whose freedom they once
Mar 20, 2009 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 19, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tammy Tanner
Jan 14, 2010 Tammy Tanner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jarrod Reid
Sep 06, 2011 Jarrod Reid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 05, 2010 Dru rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Adam Steinberg
Apr 26, 2015 Adam Steinberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was exceptionally well researched and gave a lot of information on this private company and its long history. Bacardi is one of the few family companies that has survived beyond a generation and the fact that this company achieved its great success while operating under the oppressive regime of Fulgencio Batista and after being forced into exile after Fidel Castro came into power. Bacardi, alone among the nationalized Cuban companies, beat Castro in the Courts and in the market. The ta ...more
Sep 30, 2009 Crystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 13, 2008 JoeM rated it liked it  ·  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
Feb 13, 2017 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great run through of 150 years of Cuban history through a single families story
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
Oct 05, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-misc
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
Donna Starr
Jul 18, 2016 Donna Starr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I wish I’d read this before going to Cuba! The Bacardi family and Cuba go way back, to the mid-1800s. This fascinating book brings you along on a historic ride through Cuban history, through the lives of the Bacardi family and their famous rum-distilling business, Bacardi Rum. Through a chronology of historic revolutions, upheavals and governments, five generations of the family remained fiercely loyal Cubans. Their family business finally was seized by Castro in 1960 – when there was no lo ...more
Susan Hester
Dec 02, 2009 Susan Hester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 20, 2009 Martin Doudoroff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 01, 2009 Billy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba & Then Lost it to the Revolution
  • Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image
  • The Sugar King of Havana: The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Tycoon
  • Fidel and Che: A Revolutionary Friendship
  • Black in Latin America
  • Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today
  • The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?
  • The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise
  • Finding Manana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus
  • Tycoon's War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt Invaded a Country to Overthrow America's Most Famous Military Adventurer
  • Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson
  • Unbound: A True Story of War, Love, and Survival
  • Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen
  • Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana
  • Out of Mao's Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China
  • The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight Over Presidential Power
  • Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long
  • Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq

Share This Book