Ten Days in Harlem
New York City, September 1960. Fidel Castro has just arrived for the opening of the UN General Assembly. Wild rumours are circulating that the Cubans ‘killed, plucked, and cooked chickens in their rooms, extinguishing cigars on expensive carpets’; Castro – in his trademark olive fatigues – receives a rapturous reception from the local African American community, and holds court with political and cultural luminaries including Malcolm X, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nikita Khrushchev, Amiri Baraka, and Allen Ginsberg. His fervour in promising the politics of anti-imperialism, racial equality, and leftist revolution makes him an icon of the 1960s. In this slice of modern history, Simon Hall reveals how these ten days were a crucial hinge point in the trajectory of the Cold War.
Rising star Simon Hall captures the spirit of the 1960s in ten days that revolutionised the Cold War: Fidel Castro’s visit to New York.
‘With its cool judgements and blackly comic sense of irony, Hall’s book is a rare pleasure to read.’
DOMINIC SANDBROOK, Literary Review
‘A lively account . . . Ten Days in Harlem doesn’t stint on piquant detail.’
LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS
‘[A] perceptive, thoroughly researched and readable study.’
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.