OnTheIssues.org


Home Issues Leaders Recent Grid Archive Senate House VoteMatch_Quiz FAQs
 2014 Election:  Obama's book Biden's book Romney's book Ryan's book  |  Jill Stein's interview Gary Johnson's interview  |   2014   Debates 

Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
Turnaround
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Obama and the Empire
by Cuban leader Fidel Castro



(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from Obama and the Empire, by Fidel Castro (number of quotes indicated):
  • Barbara Lee (1) Democrat U.S. Rep California-13
  • Bennie Thompson (1) Democrat U.S. Rep Mississippi-2
  • Bobby Rush (1) Democrat U.S. Rep Illinois-1
  • Emmanuel Cleaver (1) Democrat U.S. Rep Missouri-5
  • Gregory Meeks (1) Dem./Working-Families U.S. Rep New York-5
  • James Clyburn (1) Democrat U.S. Rep South Carolina-6
  • Laura Richardson (1) Democrat U.S. Rep California-37
  • Marcia Fudge (1) Democrat U.S. Rep Ohio-11
  • Maxine Waters (1) Democrat U.S. Rep California-43
  • Mel Watt (1) Democrat U.S. Rep North Carolina-12
  • Mike Honda (1) Democrat U.S. Rep California-17
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:

People ask when they see this book's author, "Is that THE Fidel Castro?" Yes, it is, which I know because I asked that same question when I saw the book on the bookstore shelf. It is written by Cuban President Fidel Castro, who "retired" in 2008 from the Cuban Presidency (he then retired again as Communist Party Secretary in 2011, after this book was published; his brother Raul Castro still runs the country, having taken over both those roles). Fidel's retirement was marked by an ongoing set of "Reflections" which he published in the Communist-party-run newspaper, Granma; those "Reflections" are collected in book form here.

Castro's "Reflections" are written immediately after each event they discuss. In other words, these essays are his immediate reaction, without any long-term perspective -- sort of like reading a political blog. But it's a political blog where the blogger describes the United States as "a parasitical and plundering empire" (p. 8) and says "NATO is a warlike and aggressive organization" (p. 47). And of course Castro applies decades of long-term perspective when he says things like that -- he has hated the United States and NATO longer than most political bloggers have been alive.

Castro wrote this book to "understand and evaluate the Obama presidency," according to the Publisher's Note (p. x). Castro certainly addresses Obama, but Castro's real target is George W. Bush, whom Castro evidently hates with unbridled passion. Castro describes Bush as "a corrupt, lying and ignorant politician" (p. 53) whose presidency Castro describes as "dark days" (p. 59).

For Obama, Castro has mixed feelings. Castro sincerely admires Obama's accomplishment of being the first non-white president, describing Obama's election as "an exceptional merit of US society and I am the first to admit it" (p. 21). Castro admires Obama on racial grounds -- "a black man in the country of racial discrimination" (p. 25) -- but also on political grounds -- "he certainly does not resemble his predecessor in the least" (p. 49). But Castro opens his book with an essay entitled, "The Cynicism of the Empire" (p. 1) in which he bashes Obama for maintaining the American embargo against Cuba. Castro follows up with accusing Obama of violation of international law by keeping the Guantanamo prison open (p. 18) and by "praising" Obama for achieving with ObamaCare what was achieved by Cuba 50 years ago (p. 121).

Most political bloggers feel like their opinions matter, and that their readers just can't wait for their next post. With most political bloggers, that would be megalomania if they actually believe it. Fidel Castro, whom many consider the world's leading megalomaniac, in fact DOES have readers who just can't wait for his next post, although most of them are forced to do so by living in the dictatorship that Castro set up. The book has that off-the-cuff feel that most political blogs have; like most blogs, it is not well-edited (for example, Castro cites Rep. James Clyburn as being from North Carolina (p. 39); in fact, he represents South Carolina).

I could not resist this book -- and neither should any other pundit, or anyone interested enough in politics to want to understand how our opponents view us. Castro's views of Obama are not like those of Obama's political enemy Rush Limbaugh; Castro is a REAL enemy, with REAL opposition views. Castro's negative views of America are, unfortunately, common throughout the Third World, and are not uncommon in the developed world either. Understanding Castro means understanding much of the world outside our borders.

-- Jesse Gordon, OnTheIssues editor-in-chief, December 2013

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Foreign Policy
    Barbara Lee: Led delegation to Cuba and met with Fidel Castro.
    Bennie Thompson: 2000: Joined CBC Congressional delegation to Cuba.
    Bobby Rush: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Emmanuel Cleaver: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Gregory Meeks: 2000: Joined CBC Congressional delegation to Cuba.
    James Clyburn: 2000: Led CBC Congressional delegation to Cuba.
    Laura Richardson: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Marcia Fudge: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Maxine Waters: 1999: Led first Congressional delegation to Cuba.
    Mel Watt: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.
    Mike Honda: Part of delegation to Cuba that met with Fidel Castro.


The above quotations are from Obama and the Empire
by Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Logo
All material copyright 1999-2013
by OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
Mail
Send donations or submit quotations to:
OnTheIssues.org
1770 Massachusetts Ave. #630
Cambridge, MA 02140



OnTheIssues.org
Home Page
Most recent quotations Archive of books & debates Candidate Matching Quiz

Page last edited: Dec 28, 2013