The ignominious failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 marked the culmination of a curious episode at the height of the Cold War. At the end of the fifties, restless and rebellious youth, avant-garde North American intellectuals, old leftists, and even older liberals found inspiration in the images and achievements of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary guerrillas. Fidelismo swept across the US, as young North Americans sought to join the 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra.
Drawing equally on cultural and political materials, from James Dean and Desi Arnaz to C. Wright Mills and Studies on the Left, Gosse explains how the peculiar conjuncture of 1950s America produced the first great Third World solidarity movement, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which became a locus for the New Left emerging from the ashes of Kennedy’s New Frontier.
Where the Boys Are captures the strange essence of that much-abused decade, the 1950s, at once demonstrating the perfidy of Cold War American liberal opinion towards Cuba and its revolution while explaining why Fidel and his compañeros made such appealing idols for the young, the restless, and the politically adventurous.