In his new book Ten Days in Harlem: Fidel Castro and the Making of the 1960s
(Faber, 2020), Simon Hall
, a Professor of Modern History at the University of Leeds, colorfully details an extraordinary visit by Fidel Castro to New York in the Autumn of 1960 for the opening of the UN General Assembly.
Holding court from the iconic Hotel Theresa in Harlem, Castro's riotous stay in New York saw him connect with leaders from within the local African American community, as well as political and cultural luminaries such as Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nikita Khrushchev, Kwame Nkrumah and Allen Ginsberg. Through exploring the local and global impact of these ten days, Hall recovers Castro's visit as a critical turning point in the trajectory of the Cold War and the development of the 'The Sixties.'
E. James West is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in American History at Northumbria University. He is the author of
Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.: Popular Black History in Postwar America (Illinois, 2020).