New York City, September 1960. Fidel Castro – champion of the oppressed, scourge of colonialism, and leftist revolutionary – arrives for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. His visit to the UN represents a golden opportunity to make his mark on the world stage.
Fidel’s shock arrival in Harlem is met with a rapturous reception from the local African American community. He holds court from the iconic Hotel Theresa as a succession of world leaders, black freedom fighters and counter-cultural luminaries – everyone from Nikita Khrushchev to Gamal Abdel Nasser, Malcolm X to Allen Ginsberg – come calling. Then, during his landmark address to the UN General Assembly – one of the longest speeches in the organisation’s history – he promotes the politics of anti-imperialism with a fervour, and an audacity, that makes him an icon of the 1960s.
In this unforgettable slice of modern history, Simon Hall reveals how these ten days were a foundational moment in the trajectory of the Cold War, a turning point in the history of anti-colonial struggle, and a launching pad for the social, cultural and political tumult of the decade that followed.
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