Mercenary's Tale: Fighting Fidel Castro
Author: William Heuisler
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (2008)
Binding: Paperback, 292 pages
A short-timer Marine is recruited from Quantico Marine Base by the CIA into anti-Castro, "Operation Mongoose" to train Cuban refugees on raids into Cuba. The condensed, but true story explores political intrigue and often sinister characters in turbulent, bloody South Florida during the early sixties. Hints of betrayal complicate rescue missions and an unlikely love affair adds further tension. Readers are led through a bizarre world where ambush is only the dawn of misfortune, and where the horrors of combat, shipwreck, starvation and worse become commonplace. The saga of bravery, betrayal, personal heartache and bittersweet retribution is completed as friends give the ultimate sacrifice and the U.S. Government indicts its own mercenaries.
This is a true story told in first person from a former Marine who was recruited by the CIA to train Cuban refugees on raids into Cuba during the early sixties. The author wants his audience to discover the truth about Fidel Castro and the Cubans, as his experiences proved to him. The book takes the reader right with William Heuisler through combat, shipwreck, starvation, and many intense and even horrifying experiences.
Mr. Heuisler has a gift for writing and is able to take the reader into the depths of this portion of his life. He describes his characters and scenes so artistically that one can easily become involved and feel part of the story. Some have said that they couldn't put the book down, but I found at times I needed to do just that to be able to think through the events, but always wanted to get back to reading to see what twists and turns would be next. This book definitely is not for the faint of heart. Realizing that all of the events really happened, but knowing the author was telling the tale, allowed me to continue reading through some of the horrors presented.
This book gives a perspective on a time in our history that some readers may never have been able to imagine. It will be different for people who lived through that period of time than for others who are too young to realize. Either way, Mr. Heuisler brings to light a perspective that may not be found in history books. What was happening in Cuba and just how were the refugees being treated? What was happening between the U.S. and Cuba? What was happening to the anti-Castro Cubans during his rise to power? What happened to those who found out the truth and wanted people to know? William Heuisler will give you insight into that time period and how the U.S. mercenaries were treated.
This book is an intense true adventure, well written, and is a page-turner. Anyone wanting to read a small portion of history, or wants to read about bravery, betrayal, heartache, or how some gave the ultimate sacrifice during the anti-Castro time period of the early sixties, should definitely read Mercenary's Tale: Fighting Fidel Castro. Mr. Heuisler lived this history and feels compelled to share the story. He's done an excellent job of doing just that.
Reviewed by: Joyce Gilmour (2009)