Cover Image: Covert City

Covert City

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a fascinating and personable account of life in Miami during the history of the Cuban missile crisis. Author makes the reading very enjoyable as he covers the upheaval and the political climate of the period. Excellent accounting of a difficult situation as we learn about immigration policy and humanitarian efforts against the backdrop of current government policy making. Loved every word! I feel this is a necessary work for historians.

Was this review helpful?

When speaking about the Cold War, many don’t think of Miami, FL, but the South Florida city played a huge role in being so close to Cuba. Miami was filled with secret operations, corruption, crime, and spies.

The book was well-researched and read like an excellent research paper, but with personality! I enjoyed it! Cuban spies are top-notch!

Thank you, Netgalley and PublicAffairs, for feeding my obsession with CIA and spies.

Was this review helpful?

Do you want to have a few chuckles about the Cold War? Well then come on down to read Vince Houghton and Eric Driggs' Covert City. The book looks at the Cold War mostly as it pertains to the city of Miami. I say mostly because the book is a little all over the place.

Let's start with the good. Houghton and Driggs have done a ton of research. In a relatively short book, you will hear about a lot of different people and events related to the Cold War. My favorite part is their humor. There are a lot of quick jokes throughout the book and it keeps the narrative breezy.

The main issue here is that this reads much more like an extended Wikipedia article with the humor turned up to 11. There is no real cohesiveness because there is no central character. Not every history book needs to be narrative non-fiction, but it does need to have a central theme. The subtitle suggests it is Miami but there is no effort to make it real to the reader. There is also a bit too many uses of, "many Cubans felt that," and phrases like that which need to be backed up by hard data if it is to be trusted. For the most part, the authors do this with much of the book, but a few of these non-substantiated claims sneak in.

I wouldn't tell anyone not to read this book as there are good elements and some fun stories. I would caution the reader that if you aren't interested in the Cold War or Miami then there is probably not enough in this book to keep your attention.

(This book was provided as an advance copy by Netgalley and PublicAffairs.)

Was this review helpful?

The Covert City is a concise, readable history of the Cold War as seen through the Magic City. As the authors explain, there was very little that transpired in South or Central America during these years that was unconnected to Miami. The resettlement of the Cuban exile community in south Florida, and the differences between the first wave and those who followed, are expertly explained. Ending with the attempted Venezuelan coup headed by a former member of the American armed services, The Covert City also has the benefit of being up to date.

Was this review helpful?

I really didn’t know a lot about Miami but I was intrigued from the description of this book. It did not disappoint with what I was looking for. It felt well-researched and I was never bored when reading this. Vince Houghton and Eric Driggs made this book and I hope they do another book.

Was this review helpful?