"In the book's impressionistic and personal moments, Rieff succeeds in capturing the mood of the city. He is pleasantly open to the place he is exploring and generally maintains a stance of naïveté--the mark of a good travel writer."--New York Times Book Review
"A clear, insightful book of firsthand impressions of Florida's once-heralded Magic City and what its flamboyant Latinization since the 1960s means. Rieff looks thoughtfully at Miami as America's New Havana, with a nod to the image fostered by TV's Miami Vice--an easygoing recital of his visits with some of Miami's most influential Cuban leaders, ranging from moderates to possibly murderous, anti-Castro politicos, along with tours of the city's now-famed Calle Ocho stretch."--Publishers Weekly
"David Rieff gives Miami the treatment it deserves: an anti-travelogue that tours states of mind and basks in projected images. . . . No cub reporter, he wisely dodges the dry testimony of experts in favor of the hunches that emerge from after-dinner gossip. His factual storehouse is stocked with random bits of the social environment: menus, in-flight movies, graffiti, Toltec pottery, Phil Donahue."--Commentary
"A book that restores one’s faith in the foreignness of America. A shrewd, inquisitive guide to a city that has been over-glamourized, much condescended to (though not by Rieff), and rarely understood—and to one of the world’s oddest and most intensely knit exiled communities, the Cubans in Miami. Read before heading south."—Robert Hughes, author of The Fatal Shore
From David Rieff’s preface to the new edition:
"This book is a personal narrative as well as a book about Miami at the moment in the mid-1980s when the transformation of the city by its Cuban exile population was achieving critical mass. . . . I never believed that Miami was, as some people said at the time, 'the new Casablanca' or the capital of Latin America. What I did believe--and continue to believe--is that it was a harbinger of many things about America's future, from the inescapability of the Spanish language and of the further hispanicization of the United States to the broader phenomenon of a radical demographic shift in which the country, in only a few generations, has gone from being comprised largely of people of European and, to a lesser extent, African origin, to being an anthology of the world's peoples. That is now clear."
David Rieff is the author of Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West; The Exile: Cuba in the Heart of Miami; and Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World. His work appears regularly in various publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Nation, Esquire, New Republic, and Newsweek. He is a freelance journalist and writer living in New York City.
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"This civic portrait captures a melting pot in full boil, a city of competing ethnic communities in the process of being transformed by its Cuban exile population."-- New York Times Book Review
--New York Times Book Review
"This civic portrait captures a melting pot in full boil, a city of competing ethnic communities in the process of being transformed by its Cuban exile population." -Charleston Gazette
--Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail