Our Man Down in Havana: The Story Behind Graham Greene's Cold War Spy Novel
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractAnalyses the backstory to Graham Greene's 1958 spy-fiction satire Our Man in Havana, including the British writer’s seven pre-revolutionary and five post-revolutionary visits to Cuba. This book reveals the gestation of his iconic 1958 novel, and its 1959 film version, directed by Carol Reed. Background includes his wartime experience in MI6, first in Sierra Leone, and later under Kim Philby's supervision in London. The book also details Greene's ongoing manic depression and turbulent private life, context for him beginning to write his novel in the midst of the Fidel Castro-led armed insurrection against the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in November 1957. Following the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on 1st January 1959, Greene witnessed the development of Fidel Castro’s socialist and then communist revolution during its key early years, on journalistic assignments from the Daily Telegraph in 1963 and 1966. We thus gain Greene’s overview of Cuba during its capitalist apogee under dictatorial Batista and its radical social transformation under Castro’s charismatic leadership.
CitationHull, C. (2019-forthcoming). Our Man Down in Havana: The Story Behind Graham Greene's Cold War Spy Novel. New York, NY: Pegasus Books.
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