Matthew Langdon Cost joined us at the library to discuss his new book I Am Cuba: Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution.
I Am Cuba is a historical fiction novel that asks: Who was Fidel Castro? In the summer of 1958, 300 bearded revolutionaries, led by a 30-year-old lawyer named Fidel, turned the tides of war in Cuba by defeating 12,000 soldiers in combat. How was this possible? If you want to understand Cuba of the last 60 years, you must first understand who Fidel Castro was and the events of the Cuban Revolution of 1953 to 1959. The revolution began in 1953 with a botched insurrection in Santiago, Cuba. Fidel was captured and put on trial where he defended himself, finishing with the now immortal words: “Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me.” Fidel was imprisoned, granted amnesty, exiled to Mexico, and then led an invasion of Cuba with 81 revolutionaries aboard a pleasure yacht called the Granma. Only 18 men survived. How did Fidel build this small band of guerrillas into an army that would sweep to power in Cuba? Who was the rifle-toting woman who became Fidel’s most trusted advisor, as well as his lover? These questions and more are answered in the thrilling I Am Cuba, a historically accurate novel detailing society, politics, war, and love in Cuba in the 1950s.
Matthew Langdon Cost lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, four children, and two dogs. Upon graduating with a B.A. in history from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1989, he began work on his first book, a historical novel about the Cuban Revolution of 1953-1959. The manuscript was set aside as it lacked sincerity, with the concept that a research trip to Cuba was necessary for this to be a successful endeavor. In the meantime, he opened several businesses including a video store, a health club, and a bookstore. After 10 years as an entrepreneur, he decided to follow his dream of teaching, beginning his tenure at the Brunswick Junior High School in the special education department before moving into teaching social studies.
It was during this time that his unpublished mystery novels were written. This year, Encircle Publications
will be releasing Mainely Power, Mainely Fear, and a brand new title in the Mainely Mystery
series, Mainely Blackmail.
In 2007, after taking a two-week class on teaching biographies in the classroom, Matthew decided to return to
historical fiction, choosing Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War as his topic. The research, writing, and
editing of this took him eight years, culminating with a sabbatical to finish up, as teaching, coaching, and
raising a family took priority. In April of 2015, Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War: At Every Hazard
was published on Amazon. It immediately received fantastic reviews from national publications such as
Kirkus, The Civil War News, and others, allowing him to become a dedicated, full-time author. Now, after 30 years in the making, I Am Cuba; Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution has been published.
Both I Am Cuba and Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War are available to borrow now at the library!
Special thanks to Berwick Community Media for recording this library program.