April 03, 2006

The Truth About Herbert L. Matthews

In mid-February 1957 an American journalist made his way into the Sierra Maestra mountain range in Oriente province to conduct an interview with Fidel Castro. For months it had been speculated that Castro had been killed, and that journalist’s words in the New York Times not only brought him back to life, but painted him in ways that were very palatable to an American audience of the time. The words of Herbert L. Mathews, some would later claim, painted Castro as a modern day Robin Hood who could fix a cloudy day.

Members of the anti-Castro community have never forgiven Matthews, and claim that he was duped into writing about the Cuban rebel in a positive manner.

A new book coming out at the end of April, “The Man Who Invented Fidel” by Anthony De Palma takes a look at the controversial journalist, who later paid the price for Castro’s about face into the socialist camp. Eventually Matthews was accused of being a communist sympathizer and a traitor, and prevented from writing about the subject he knew best… this in the days when the news media was strong and believed in healthy skepticism… (Imagine what they would do to him today?)

Herbert’s biography of Castro a few years later came a bit too late to distract the journalist’s critics.

I’ve just acquired an “advance reading copy” of the book by De Palma. Was Herbert L. Matthews a communist? Was he a fool? Or was Castro’s plunge into the socialist camp something we could have avoided? Even if this doesn’t provide answers, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to find some info about Herbert's genealogy...if you have any info please email me at casadechongo@aol.com


7:03 PM, July 17, 2006  

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