Published Articles

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stalin's Secret Agents — The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government was written by two experienced authors and recognized authorities on the Cold War, M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein. Evans is a veteran journalist and former broadcaster, as well as the author of Blacklisted by History (2009), a biography of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and other momentous books. Romerstein was the former head of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation at the U.S. Information Agency and a congressional staffer of the House Intelligence Committee. These two men have collaborated in writing a magnificent and shocking exposé that has been crying out for exposure — to inform as well as to correct and augment the incomplete and distorted historic record, not to mention reveal the true moral standing of a number of Americans who betrayed the nation for a perverted and venal ideology based on lies.

The importance of this book is that it not only exposes the penetration of the U.S. government by full-fledged Soviet spies but also documents the subversion by communist "agents of influence" subservient to Stalin and the USSR high up in the FDR administration. This is a inimical tale of...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

John Quincy Adams (2012) by Harlow Giles Unger is a well written and well-researched book that brings to light the sixth president of the United States, and the only son of a Founding Father to become president — John Quincy Adams. The Adams family was not only to give birth to several American statesmen, but also men of letters, diplomats, politicians, historians, and famous Americans — among them the Harvard educator Charles Francis Adams (1807-1886) and his sons, the novelist Henry Adams (1838-1918), and the historian Charles Francis Adams II (1835-1915).

After reading Unger's previously published book about James Monroe (The Last Founding Father, 2009), I reset Monroe in a higher pedestal from that in which I had previously placed him, from my knowledge of his life and American history, and from having read W.P. Creeson's  masterpiece, James Monroe (1946). I was disposed to believe the same about John Quincy Adams. But that was not to be the case. This was not due to the author's abilities as a writer or historian; Unger did a magnificent job as a biographer in this book. The problem was I learned more about John Quincy Adams that I previously did not know, and...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Last Founding Father — James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness by Harlow Giles Unger (2009) is a well written and eloquently narrated book that goes a long way to accomplish what it set out to do — to make James Monroe, not only the last Founding Father, but also the greatest of the founders, second only to George Washington.

This tome then fulfills in many ways what various eminent authors have set out to do for the most illustrious of the Founding Fathers, to place them on the pedestals where they belong, but from where they have been gradually demoted by the neglect of many academic institutions of higher learning, not to mention, the public education system. I refer to the following masterful biographies: Ralph Ketcham's  James Madison (1971); Willard Sterne Randall's Alexander Hamilton: A Life (2003); Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton (2004); David McCullough's John Adams (2001); and the forgotten masterpiece, W.P. Creeson's James Monroe (1946), among others. These biographies enshrine the notable careers of the founders, as men of flesh and blood, who without vacillation, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the fledging...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Moghul by Alan Savage, a pseudonym for a prolific British novelist, is a historic novel of adventure, sex, and brutality of epic proportions. As with Ottoman, Alan Savage's previous dazzling adventure tome, this novel concerns and revolves around a fictitious (and not quite) renegade English family of male descendants, the Blunts, who while preserving some of their English identity through several generations, nevertheless, serve faithfully the ruling Moghul dynasty of Northern India (Hindustan) and Afghanistan. The time span is close to that of the chronicles of Savage's previous novel, Ottoman, a time period concurrent with the late Renaissance in the West (spanning the late 15th through the early 17th centuries) with which Savage seems to be quite conversant.

Savage is also intimately familiar with the very early Renaissance of 14th century Italy, as noted in his subsequent masterpiece, Queen of Night (1993). All of these books are full of adventure, intrigue, betrayals, wars, sex and violence, and are not meant for readers with delicate sensitivities and prone to easily take offense. Women in our present zeitgeist may not appreciate Savage's portrayal of women as...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Case Closed — Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK by Gerald Posner is the definitive book on the JFK assassination. Case Closed is duly named as an authoritative and definitive treatise on the subject. The book is well investigated, well written, and thoroughly convincing because of the meticulous research and persuasive, logical narrative of the accomplished author Gerald Posner, a former Wall Street lawyer. Instructive graphs and photos adroitly illustrate the narrative. Posner's book is simply magnificently written, from the very beginning to the end. After interviewing hundreds of witnesses, including numerous experts and even published authors of JFK assassination conspiracy books, and citing extensively the Warren Commission Report and other primary government documents, Posner draws a persuasive argument that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of JFK. Oswald was a committed Marxist, as well as a lonely, disturbed individual with the political motivation and growing militant hostility to commit the heinous crime. Posner proves beyond a reasonable doubt Oswald was indeed fully competent and capable of carrying out the assassination, alone and unaided by...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In the noted biography, Flawed Patriot (2006) by former CIA agent and author Bayard Stockton, CIA legend Bill Harvey, was introduced to President John F. Kennedy as "America's James Bond."(1) Harvey was indeed a charismatic legend in the CIA, but two other, almost equally unknown American heroes, could also vie for the title. One of them is Feliz Rodríguez Mendigutía, the indomitable subject of the book, Shadow Warrior, who, among his many other accomplishments, helped track and capture Che Guevara in the jungles of Bolivia in 1967.(2)

The third contender for "America's James Bond" title is probably the least known of the three men, and he happens to be the subject of the book I review in this essay, Frank Angelo Fiorini, aka Frank (Anthony) Sturgis.(3) Of these three valiant men, only one of them was reputed to be (although with little evidence and certainly not in the league with the fictitious James Bond, British agent 007), a womanizer (Harvey). The second man was a Cuban-American (Rodríguez), and the third (Sturgis) of Italian-American ancestry.

Harvey began his career as a CIA agent after being a seasoned lawyer and then policeman; Rodríguez and Sturgis...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Widow Spy is a real-life thriller that begins with a seemingly typical American housewife, Martha ("Marti") D. Peterson, who in an unusual gesture invites her two teenage children out to lunch. This is twenty years after the main events subsequently depicted in the book. She had remarried and was living what appeared to be the ordinary life of an American wife and mother. But what she flat out confesses to her astonished teenagers is that she worked for the CIA, had been previously married to an unknown American hero, and had a long story to tell them. Imagine their reaction — "Mom is a spy"! She takes the kids to the CIA compound, gives then a personal and emotional guided tour, and recounts the story of her "previous" life. She had spent over thirty years as a CIA officer, received commendations, and even met a Director of the CIA and an American president.

This is  truly a poignant and astonishing book that tells the fascinating story of this intrepid American woman, a woman who in 1971 accompanied her husband, CIA agent John Peterson, to Laos. This nation is a primitive country, a neighbor of both Thailand and Vietnam, a country that had been dragged into...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Time to Betray — The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran by Reza Kahlili is one of the most heartrending and enthralling accounts I have ever read of courage, dissimulation, and personal suffering in the genre of espionage memoirs. This is the story of a courageous man, who justly betrays and risks his life (and that of his family) to fight surreptitiously against the cruelties and injustices of the ruling government of his native country — Iran. This book struck a personal cord with me because it reminded me of painful and regretful similarities that beset my own family in my native country, Cuba, just before and after the Revolution that brought to power the dictatorship of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul in 1959.

As a very young child, I remember various members of my family arguing passionately (but amicably) for and against the dictatorial government of Cuban President, Fulgencio Batista, his coup d'etat and dictatorship, his trampling on the legendary Constitution of 1940, the lack of political rights, the cruel imprisonment, and systematic torture of rebels captured while fighting against his regime (an opposition in...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Antony and Cleopatra is the seventh and final book in the Masters of Rome series of historic novels by Australian author Colleen McCullough. This tome covers the years 41-27 B.C. of the late Roman Republic. At 567 pages, it is shorter than the previous books in the series. Gaius Octavian, now calling himself Caesar Octavianus, divi filius contends with his fellow Triumvir, Marcus Antonius, and Antony's lover, Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt.(1)

In all of her books of this series McCullough's characters speak in a modern tone (which at times becomes needlessly vulgar). Characteristically, she makes no attempt to have speakers sound Shakespearean or archaic, but in this last tome, she is a bit more chatty, uses more dialogues, and is generally less informative of other historical events taking place contemporaneously. We are basically in tune, almost exclusively, with the fewer main characters left standing following Rome's civil wars, battles, and proscriptions.

Events covered in this tome include: events following the defeat and dramatic suicides of Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus after the Battle of Philippi in 42 B.C.; the ensuing rivalry of Mark...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A book published last year by Brian Latell, a professor, scholar, and retired CIA officer who had been active in foreign intelligence for 35 years, has not received the attention it deserves. The book, Castro's Secrets — The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine (2012) relies extensively on information provided by half a dozen Cuban defectors and several retired CIA officers. However, the most intriguing and reliable revelations come to light from Florentino Aspillaga ("Tiny"), the most knowledgeable and valuable foreign intelligence officer to ever defect from Cuba's foreign intelligence service, the powerful Directorio General de Inteligencia (DGI). Why does the book require careful perusal and attention? Because it contains information on the role the DGI, which had been run by Fidel Castro himself (until 2006), played in the death of JFK.

Tiny Aspillaga defected that fateful summer in 1987 "the Cuban Year of the Spy," when six major Cuban defections took place. Aspillaga had served with distinction in the elite ranks of the DGI and had even received a personal commendation from Fidel Castro.

Prior Knowledge of JFK's Assassination

President Kennedy and his...

Fransini Giraldo is a Colombian girl who dances her own style of Salsa. In this video, she dances to the rhythm of Sonora Carruseles de Colombia, presumably in the Colombia countryside. Published July 16, 2013.