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The Americano : The Last American Rebel In Castro's Cuba

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  16 reviews
"Why do I fight here in this land so foreign to my own? Why did I come here far from my home and family?...Is it because I seek adventure? No...I am here because I believe that the most important thing for free men to do is to protect the freedom of others."
-William Morgan, in a letter to Herbert Matthews at the "New York Times"
When William Morgan was twenty-two years old
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 10th 2007 by Algonquin Books (first published July 12th 2007)
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I'd never heard of Wm. Morgan until I saw an article about him in New Yorker this spring. His life and death are the stuff of adventure tales: a young American flees an empty, failed life in the Midwest to seek adventure and high ideals in the mountains of 1950s Cuba, becomes a successful leader of guerrilla soldiers and combat commander, joins a new government, and dies young, executed by the leader of the revolution whose success he'd fought for. Half a century later, Morgan remains a shadowy ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book recommended by a Cuban friend. William Morgan felt passionate about Cuba obtaining it's freedom from the horrible rule of Batista and Spain. He joined up with some rebels in the Escambray mountains and fought the good fight to help free Cuba. Only after he became slightly disenchanted with the government forming. However he kept his loyalty to the government up until he no longer could. This was an amazing book, with lots of new information that I was unaware of previously. I now ...more
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent book. Well written, factually sound. I learned a lot from this book.
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
History, and the people who live it, come to full, fascinating life, through little-known stories such as this one.
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: socialists, travelers,
Shelves: true
I am one of the few, one of the proud (no, not a Marine) Americans who has been able to travel to Cuba legitimately. As most of you know, I traveled to Cuba in the summer of 2000 for a study abroad program. The program was about Urban Design and Planning in Cuba and was guided by a professor of mine from undergrad who was married to a Cuban woman who came over during the Freedom Flights and had never been back. However, he had been taking students on guided tours through Havana, Trinidad, Cienfu ...more
a good look at the revolution from the point of view of those who fought to overthrow Batista, but weren't a part of Castro's rebel fighters (at least not in the beginning). the book lays out how Castro, as opposed to another rebel leader, became el jefe back in '59, and the ways in which Cubans and other nations either fell in line or didn't immediately thereafter. a great read, if you're interested. ...more
Jamison Shuck
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cuba, latin-america
A quick read about a subject that I knew absolutely nothing about. I have read quite a bit about Fidel and Che and the 26 Julio movement but I had no idea that there were also other groups of rebels on the island fighting the Batista regime. (my ignorance is probably good news to the Castro regime) Its the Cuban revolution from a different (and non-hostile Gringo) point of view. A very solid read.
Joshua Tree
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
An incredibly humanizing, impeccably researched telling of the Cuban Revolution, good, bad, and ugly. I saw myself in Morgan every step of the way, from the restless punk to the discomfort of realizing what he'd gotten himself into to the knowledge that he'd come too far to really ever turn back. Very detailed, but still not too difficult a read. Highly recommended for history buffs or anyone who sports a Che beard ;) ...more
Tim Wendel
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I didn't expect to enjoy this bio as much as I did. Here's the story of William Morgan, an American misfit who somehow ends up fighting with Castro for Cuba's freedom. One could argue that Morgan stuck more to his beliefs more than Castro did. The ending is beautiful, and Shetterly deserves a lot of credit for the amount of research he put into this. ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
The story of William Morgan reads like a boys own adventure. His rise is interesting, his demise even more so.

His story alone is pretty amazing, but in the context of the Cuban Revolution it gives it another dimension.

It is very well written, and doesn't go out of its way to idolise its main character, but manages to give us a balanced insight to this unique character.
Mike González
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fantastic account of an often ignored piece of the Cuban Revolution. I could not put this book down. The author does a wonderful job of conveying the various and nuanced perspectives of the individuals involved. Morgan himself is a very unique person and his life story deserved to be shared.
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I chose this book to familiarize myself with some Cuban history before traveling there. This is a well-written book and hat moves along quickly. A really interesting biography, plus some history, too!
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Insights in the Cuban Revolution with a unique perspective.
Kenghis Khan
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Spectacular. A dramatic page turner about a ne'er-do-well punk from Ohio who found a cause worth dying for in freeing Cuba from both Batista and Castro. ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating story! Great reading for anyone interested in American history or just a good tale. The American relationship with Cuba is much more complex than most of us understand.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A story that needed telling!
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