During the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, the United States and the USSR acted out the world's tensions in the Caribbean, using Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic as puppets. What neither superpower bargained on was that their puppets would come to life. Red Heat tells the gripping story of the men responsible for this rude surprise, including, from Cuba, the charismatic Fidel Castro and his mysterious brother Raúl; from Argentina, the ideologue Che Guevara; from the Dominican Republic, the capricious psychopath Rafael Trujillo; and from Haiti, François 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, a buttoned-down doctor with interests in Vodou, embezzlement, and torture.
How did this handful of men, armed with little but words and ruthlessness, capture the world's attention during the 1950s and 60s? Alex von Tunzelmann shows her storytelling prowess yet again in a riveting narrative of clashing ideologies, the politics of fear, the machinations of superpowers, and -- above all -- the brazen daring of the mavericks who took them on.