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Miami by Joan Didion
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Miami (1987)

by Joan Didion

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It took me some time to navigate Didion's true focus for Miami. I was expecting an overarching, historical portrait of a city in Florida which is rich in culture and diversity, today and yesterday. Instead, Miami started out as a tirade about how Cubans in Miami are often ignored (when they aren't being misunderstood). Cuban ethnicity is left out of the equation when Anglos describe Miami. The naive gringos err on the side of stereotypes or misconception when trying to describe or name something that is uniquely Cuban. I wasn't expecting this us against them narrative. It is more accurate to say Didion's Miami is about the Cuban Exile Community, past and present. Didion moves the reader directly into the eye of a political hurricane which is in a nutshell government conspiracies and corruptions, the underbelly of wheeling and dealing like failed and successful assassinations. Organized crime and car bombs that go boom in the night. Bay of Pigs. Watergate. Ronald Reagan. Nightmares in the light of day. Sunny Miami.

I am distracted easily. Put in front of me a sentence that is too long winded and my mind starts to wander and my eyes jump all over the page, forgetting what I just tried to read. Miami is full of crazy long (in my mind run-on) sentences that drove me to distraction. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 28, 2017 |
Marvelous exposer of American under-the-table deals. The whole time during Castro we pretended to help the Miami Cubans get their country back, we had already made a deal with the Russians to leave Fidel alone. Didion is a great digger: knows how to get into a group and get the truth like she did with Slouching Towards Bethlehem. ( )
  paleporter | Aug 27, 2017 |
Everything Didion writes is gold. ( )
  essjay1 | Jan 11, 2017 |
This book delineates the effect that the Cuban Exile Community has had on American foreign policy, and the relationship with some elements of Organized crime. A good book for anyone interested in the ramifications of Carribean politics in the imperial power's own domestic life. ( )
1 vote DinadansFriend | Sep 20, 2013 |
The journalism is excellent, but the run-on sentences, the dangling subjects and predicates, the parenthetical asides--the writing is horrendous, like slogging through mud. ( )
1 vote copyedit52 | Aug 26, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679781803, Paperback)

It is where Fidel Castro raised money to overthrow Batista and where two generations of Castro's enemies have raised armies to overthrow him, so far without success. It is where the bitter opera of Cuban exile intersects with the cynicism of U.S. foreign policy. It is a city whose skyrocketing murder rate is fueled by the cocaine trade, racial discontent, and an undeclared war on the island ninety miles to the south.

As Didion follows Miami's drift into a Third World capital, she also locates its position in the secret history of the Cold War, from the Bay of Pigs to the Reagan doctrine and from the Kennedy assassination to the Watergate break-in. Miami is not just a portrait of a city, but a masterly study of immigration and exile, passion, hypocrisy, and political violence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:47 -0400)

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