Listen free for 30 days

Listen with offer

  • Red Heat

  • Conspiracy, Murder, and the Cold War in the Caribbean
  • By: Alex von Tunzelmann
  • Narrated by: Sarah Coomes
  • Length: 19 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

$0.00 for first 30 days

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
Red Heat cover art

Red Heat

By: Alex von Tunzelmann
Narrated by: Sarah Coomes
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £29.99

Buy Now for £29.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Editor reviews

Alex von Tunzelmann's Red Heat: Conspiracy, Murder and the Cold War in the Caribbean is a comprehensive look at the tumultuous politics of the region focusing on Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. It starts with the roots of the slave trade and the Monroe Doctrine to chronicle this past century of turmoil and political upheaval on these volatile islands. There's a lot of ground to cover here, especially considering the long and complicated relationship with these countries and their big brother to the North, the United States. Tunzelmann does a thorough job of laying out the events, providing lots of context, and portraying an accurate sense of time and place.

Sarah Coomes imparts a fine energy to the narration. The storylines here are far from the usual dry litany of historic facts and dates. There's a lot of juicy stuff here: CIA plots, brutal murders, Latin playboys, and a cast of bigger-than-life characters that you'd be hard-pressed to match in even the best fictional political thrillers. Coomes seems to always find the right tone whether laying out cold murderous plots, or relaying the horror of a brutal massacre or military action. Her occasional asides on the rumors and tabloid headlines of the time are particularly enjoyable. And Coomes’ British accent becomes material, seeming to give her a bit of third-party impartiality. There's also a fine irony in having a woman narrate this story that is so wrought with testosterone and machismo.

Tunzelmann bookends the work with a look at contemporary times, reminding us that history often repeats itself if we don't learn our lessons. The parallels here to current Middle East politics are uncanny. You see once again the U.S. history of supporting unsavory characters in the name of stability, and our sometimes myopic focus on one overriding issue above all else. In the Caribbean it was the fear of communism that overrode every other consideration, and in the end became a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's hard not to react to Red Heat on a very visceral level. But it is definitely worth revisiting this era and area now and taking a good hard look at these events, especially in how U.S. policy shaped the area, and how it shaped our future. —Cleo Creech

Summary

The Caribbean crises of the Cold War are revealed as never before in this riveting story of clashing ideologies, the rise of the politics of fear, the machinations of superpowers, and the brazen daring of the mavericks who took them on.

During the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, the Caribbean was in crisis. The men responsible included, from Cuba, the charismatic Fidel Castro and his mysterious brother Ral; from Argentina, the ideologue Che Guevara; from the Dominican Republic, the capricious psychopath Rafael Trujillo; and from Haiti, Franois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, a buttoned-down doctor with interests in Vodou, embezzlement, and torture.

Alex von Tunzelmann's brilliant narrative follows these five rivals and accomplices from the beginning of the Cold War to its end, each with a separate vision for his tropical paradise, and each in search of power and adventure as the United States and the USSR acted out the world's tensions in their island nations. The superpowers thought they could use Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic as puppets, but what neither bargained on was that their puppets would come to life. Red Heat is an intimate account of the strong-willed men who, armed with little but words and ruthlessness, took on the most powerful nations on earth.

©2011 Alex Von Tunzelmann (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"[A] mesmerizing, Conradian tale where the truth is almost too dark to bear. A remarkably gripping popular history." ( Kirkus)
"Von Tunzelmann’s diligent work will widen the eyes of cold war buffs.” ( Booklist)

Love Books? You'll Love Audible.

Transform your day

Transform your day

Replace endless scrolling with endless listening. Chores can be fun.

Listen everywhere

Listen everywhere

You can’t turn pages while you drive—but you can press play.

Carry your entire Library

Carry your entire Library

Your stories go where you go. Audiobooks don’t weigh a thing.

Listen and learn

Listen and learn

Discover stories that can change your mind, your well-being, and your life.

Reach your reading goals

Reach your reading goals

Download titles to listen offline, wherever you are in the world.

Find your niche

Find your niche

WIth thousands of titles to explore, there’s something for everyone.

Try for £0.00 £7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

What listeners say about Red Heat

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Eye Opener

The British female narrator is a pleasure to listen to and the story is one of which I was almost completely ignorant of before I listened to this. Highly recommended.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Cold War Turned Hot

This is an good e-book, about an subject I know little about, so I purchased this book and I wasn't disappointed, it filled in the blanks for me! it covers the years 1950-1970. Recommended

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good

Fantastic book. Narration was ok.Just keep writing now in order to complete the word count

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling read

A well-written, excellent account of the four cornered story of the cold war relations between the US, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti.
The author sets the stage very clearly describing the foreign relations in the Craibean in 19th century to the early 20th. Of course, much of the book has to do with Cuba.
CIA working with the Mafia on assassination attempts and discussions of faked terror attacks just to blame it on Cuba...tricks that come through in this read. Also, their support for dictatorships in Haiti and DR.
This book is a good introduction to the politics of the steamy region, utterly fascinating from the beginning to the end.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

so interesting but also so devastating

everybody should know about what happened in this region of the world... shocking but important to remember and learn from

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!