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The first item on the Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge is […]
S. L. Price
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In an artful pastiche of observation, personal narrative, interviews, and investigative reporting, S.L. Price, a senior writer for "Sports Illustrated, " describes sports and athletes in today's Cuba. On his journeys to the island, Price finds a country that celebrates sports like no other and a regime that uses games as both symbol and weapon in its dying revolution. He finds Olympic and world champion boxers, track stars, volleyball and baseball players, but he also finds that with Castro's revolution staggering beneath the weight of a great depression, Cuba's famed sports system is imploding. Athletes are defecting by plane and raft. Superstars bike to games and legends like boxer Teofilo Stevenson are forced to lost themselves in a bottle of rum.
Beyond an examination of sports in the hothouse of revolution, "Pitching Around Fidel" presents a vibrant and realistic portrait of Cuba today, complete with sex-happy tourists, blackouts, Fidel's famous former lover, and a black-power fugitive wanted in the U.S. for murder and hijacking. At once a biting travelogue and a meditation on sports in both America and Cuba, "Pitching Around Fidel" is a valuable document about a time and place that is close to fading away.
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