Jules Archer Harvey Dust - Essay

Harvey Dust

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Thorn in Our Flesh: Castro's Cuba] is uneven in quality and [weak] on pre-revolutionary history. [Archer] is often negligent with his facts, sometimes so marshalling them as to draw unintended, meaningless, or misleading conclusions. For example, though Castro was not Communist until 1961, Archer gives the impression … that the conversion was earlier. Also, he overstates the influence of Raul and Che without offering proof of the same. He tends to conveniently overlook certain facts: e.g., Batista traded with the U.S.S.R. but no one ever accused him of being a part of the Soviet economic bloc. Archer's strengths lie mainly in his account of the Bay of Pigs …, and in his last two chapters, "Reporters Look at Cuba" and "Fidelism Tomorrow"; these exhibit a depth and objectivity lacking in the main body of his book. (p. 167)

Harvey Dust, in School Library Journal (reprinted from the September, 1970 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co. A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1970), September, 1970.

[In The Philippines' Fight for Freedom] Mr. Archer fixes upon the quest for self-determination and equalization and slights internal politics except as they pertain …; but he is assiduous in reporting relevant developments (the recurring guerrilla movements are portrayed with particular acumen) and pinning opinions down in contemporary quotes. Not only is his evidence irrefutable, his tone is, given the material, quite equable: the subject is well worth airing, and well aired. (pp. 1254-55)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1970 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), November 15, 1970.