Without Fidel A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington

October 15, 2009 - 5:00 PM

Ann Louise Bardach

Author / Journalist

Guest Discussant: Anthony DePalma 
Writer in Residence, Seton Hall University

Ann Louise Bardach will discuss her latest book, Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington (Scribner, 2009). Without Fidel offers a chronicle of the Havana-Washington political showdown, drawing on nearly two decades of  reporting and countless interviews with the Comandante himself and other family members including his co-ruler, brother Raul,  along with assorted spooks, kooks and politicos in Miami, Havana and Washington. The result is an unforgettable dual portrait of Fidel and Raul Castro – arguably, the most successful political brother team in history.

Bardach methodically chronicles the wily Castro’s protracted farewell and his transformative impact on the world and the complex legacy that will long outlive him. She discusses three distinct vantage points: In Miami, where more than one million Cubans have fled, she interviews scores of exiles including Castro’s would-be assassins Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles; Washington D.C., as the Obama Administration struggles to formulate a strategy for a post-Castro era; and  Havana, where she penetrates the bubble around the fiercely private and officially retired Castro – through contact with  family members, colleagues and  medical staff – to ascertain his undisclosed medical condition. 

Ann Louise Bardach is a PEN award-winning investigative reporter who has covered Cuban/Miami politics  since 1992 forVanity Fair,  The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes, Slate and numerous  other national publications and news programs. She’s the author of Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana, the editor of Cuba: A Traveler’s Literary Companion,  and co-editor of Prison Letters of Fidel Castro.  She is a member of the Brookings Institution Cuba Study Project and  teaches Global Journalism at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Anthony DePalma spent 22 years as a reporter and foreign correspondent for The New York Times. For much of that time he focused his attention on Latin America, especially Mexico and Cuba, but also travelled widely and reported from places as diverse as Albania, Montenegro, Guyana and Suriname. DePalma’s journalism also dealt with strategic relations within the Western Hemisphere. He was the first correspondent for the New York Times to serve as bureau chief in both Mexico and Canada, which allowed him to document the first years of continental convergence under the North American Free Trade Agreement. For several years he was an international business correspondent covering the Americas and in 2001 he published “Here: A Biography of the New American Continent.” His second book, published in 2006, looked at U.S.-Cuba relations. “The Man Who Invented Fidel” has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. In 2006, he became an environmental reporter for The Times and began covering the significant health impacts of the September 11 terrorist attack on New York. He left The Times in 2008 to become writer in residence at Seton Hall University, where is completing work on his latest book, “City of Dust,” about the 9/11 disaster. Among his professional recognitions are a 2007 Emmy finalist for “Toxic Legacy,” and the 2009 Maria Moors Cabot Award for international reporting.