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Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The…

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause

by Tom Gjelten

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Tom Gjelten’s Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba is a beautiful and somewhat heart-breaking history of the Bacardi rum company in Cuba. Founded by Facundo Bacardi Masso in the 1843 as “Facundo Bacardi y Compania”, he sought to create a general store that would service the entire population of Cuba, from the plantation worker to the fair-skinned elite. This small store was eventually restructured into a burgeoning rum distillery on February 4, 1862 and has been in continuous operation since.

From the beginning, Bacardi was embroiled in one fight or another, starting with the wars for Cuban Independence from the 1870s to the 1890s, to the U.S. occupation in the early 1900s, to the republic era, and finally the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Each new political struggle brought new challenges for the extensive family and the ever-expanding global business. And early on, the Bacardi did not shy away from entangling themselves into the fights. Facundo’s son Emilio helped to finance and communicate with Cuban independence fighters.

http://lifelongdewey.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/338-bacardi-and-the-long-fight-for... ( )
  NielsenGW | Mar 31, 2012 |
For a story about liquor and a liquor-loving country as lively as Cuba, Gjelten can come off a bit too sober at times, with stretches of Bacardi organizational minutiae that only a chief financial officer could love. And the portrayal of the men who have led Bacardi (its current board chairman, almost poetically, is Facundo L. Bacardi, the founder’s great-great-grandson) often reads like something the company might have commissioned itself — every executive and family member endowed with wisdom, fairness and unwavering zeal to see an independent Cuba.

But the book, which is exhaustively researched, succeeds in painting a vivid portrait of the company’s early, scrappy years and its prominent role in the fight against Spanish rule. Emilio Bacardi, especially, comes to life as the book’s most powerful character, though one so strange that Gabriel García Márquez might have invented him.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067001978X, Hardcover)

A unique history of Cuba, captured in the life and times of the famous rum dynasty
The Bacardis of Cuba, builders of a rum distillery and a worldwide brand, came of age with their nation and helped define what it meant to be Cuban. Across five generations, the Bacardi family has held fast to its Cuban identity, even in exile from the country for whose freedom they once fought. Now National Public Radio correspondent Tom Gjelten tells the dramatic story of one family, its business, and its nation, a 150-year tale with the sweep and power of an epic.
The Bacardi clan--patriots and "bon vivants," entrepreneurs and intellectuals--provided an example of business and civic leadership in its homeland for nearly a century. From the fight for Cuban independence from Spain in the 1860s to the rise of Fidel Castro and beyond, there is no chapter in Cuban history in which the Bacardis have not played a role. In chronicling the saga of this remarkable family and the company that bears its name, Tom Gjelten describes the intersection of business and power, family and politics, community and exile.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A history of Cuba as reflected by the dynasty of the famous Barcardi rum family traces five generations during which they served as an example of business and civic leadership while alternately fighting for national freedom and honoring their country as exiles.… (more)

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