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Trading with the Enemy

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Havana knew me by my shoes,” begins Tom Miller’s lively and entertaining account of his sojourn for more than eight months traveling through Cuba, mixing with its literati and black marketers, its cane cutters and cigar rollers. Granted unprecedented access to travel throughout the country, the author presents us with a rare insight into one of the world’s only Communist c ...more
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Published October 1st 2009 by Basic Books (first published November 23rd 1992)
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Darlene
Oct 05, 2011 Darlene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have stalled on page 87. An interesting but less than riveting account of Havana's culture and administrative politics under Castro's reign in the late 1980s. I switched gears and enjoyed the pro-Castro biopic "Fidel" (2002), and have begun the absurdly entertaining "Our Man in Havana" by Graham Greene. . . . Still wading through, as each book's repetition of key events helps me retain an enlarging grasp of island history. . . So many books, so little time . . . I am stopping on page 114. Cuba ...more
John
Oct 02, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating glimpse of life in Castro's Cuba by my favorite travel author. Miller lived in Cuba for a year and presents a very fair and balanced view of life on the island and profiles of many Cuban people. Includes some hilarious Castro jokes, too. If you want to understand what present-day Cuba is like, this is the book.
Patrick McCoy
Mar 22, 2015 Patrick McCoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
As with all good travel books, the author, Tom Miller, has done extensive research about Cuba and refers to the research he has done throughout Trading With the Enemy (1996). The introduction to he paperback written in 2008 puts his situation into a more contemporary perspective, but history marches on and I found it most useful for the background information and perspective it gives about Cuba. Miller also makes an effort to get outside of Havana and those sections are among his best in the boo ...more
Deann Alford
Jan 27, 2014 Deann Alford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't want this book to end. It's beautifully written, subtly funny, full of keen observations on a mysterious, forbidden place.
Shweta Ganesh Kumar
An extremely balanced book on year 32 of the revolution in Cuba. This is Tom Miller's account of eight months in Cuba during the special period. A wonderfully balanced, unbiased book it is mainly a travelogue about people rather than the place itself.
As the author puts it, it is about seeing, 'Cuba from the inside, the way it would like to be seen from the outside.

I enjoyed the book except for the parts where he obsessively describes the baseball games. This, I feel slowed down the momentum.
As
...more
Hugo
Great travel book to read prior heading to Cuba as it is full of quotes and the results of the author's research, as well as during a stay on the island to compare his 90's perspective with a contemporary one. I enjoyed the Castro's jokes, the interviews with the locals, the descriptions of the cities and countryside, but I'm not a baseball fan so the fifth part of the book was superficial to me (it's already long enough).

As 2016, not much as changed from he author's accounts in "Castro's Cuba".
...more
Georgie
A fascinating book for anyone who has visited Cuba. It's somewhat outdated and lots has changed in Cuba, but it's still valuable.
David
Nov 14, 2007 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Visitors to Cuba
Shelves:
My roommate in Cuba had found this book on the street in New York City a few months before we met in Havana, he seemed to think there was a lot of meaning in this random find. I don't know if I would agree that it was fate or destiny, but this was a great read.

There is a unique pleasure in reading about someone's journey while you have a similar experience and the author acurately captures the atmosphere.
Leland
Mar 25, 2009 Leland marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
A much better read once you've visited the country. I bought this before my trip to Cuba, hoping it would give me good insights before I left. I ended up struggling to stay with it, and eventually put it down. I've since picked it up, and enjoy it much more now that I'm familiar with the places, people and life he describes.
Agnes Mack
Aug 25, 2011 Agnes Mack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: socialism
This is by far the most balanced book I've read about Cuba. Basically, Tom traveled through Cuba for around 8 months and told the stories of hundreds of folks he met - with a ton of varying views. He seemed to be a pretty non-biased bystander and effectively portrayed all sides of the debate.
Agnes Mack
Aug 29, 2010 Agnes Mack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: socialism
This is by far the most balanced book I've read about Cuba. Basically, Tom traveled through Cuba for around 8 months and told the stories of hundreds of folks he met - with a ton of varying views. He seemed to be a pretty non-biased bystander and effectively portrayed all sides of the debate.
Nico Luchsinger
Dec 27, 2013 Nico Luchsinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
insightful account of a journalist's travels through Cuba during the "Special Period" in the early 90ies. Read it immediately after returning from Cuba in 2013, which made for an interesting comparison on how the country has changed, and how it hasn't.
Daniel
Aug 20, 2015 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Enjoyed reading this, especially in Cuba. Some parts were great and some very dull, but that seems to be the case for travel writing. The Nitza interview and party billboards were my highlights, hated all the baseball stuff.
Llew
May 31, 2010 Llew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good overview of present day Cuba and the oddities of its social structure. It's attempt to describe the situation without context comes across as flawed when it gets into the politics of it all.
Dick
Aug 16, 2012 Dick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His description of baseball played on the coast of Baraocca......by kids....pure joy! The descriptions will be dancing in my dreams...until Oct...and then they will become mine.
Margery
Jul 02, 2013 Margery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best book about Cuba I have read so far.
Mkb
Apr 24, 2013 Mkb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1990's Cuba
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Tom Miller has been writing about the American Southwest and Latin America for more than three decades. His ten books include The Panama Hat Trail, which follows the making and marketing of one Panama hat, and Trading with the Enemy, which Lonely Planet says "may be the best travel book about Cuba ever written." Miller began his journalism career in the underground press of the late '60s and early ...more
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