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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

See You Later, Alligator

By William F. Buckley Jr.
Doubleday, 351 pp, 1985

Buckley's Blackford Oakes novels just keep getting better.

Fresh from witnessing the partitioning of Berlin, Oakes is sent by President Kennedy to Havana to negotiate a possible agreement with Comandante Che Guevara, which would result in lifting the then-young Cuban embargo. However, while Oakes and Che spar, Castro is quietly accepting missiles from the Soviet Union, missiles that will soon be tipped with nuclear warheads.

Naturally, Oakes learns of the missiles before any other American does, thanks to a ravishing America-Cuban beauty. Can he and his brave compadre Cecilio Velasco alert Kennedy in time? What do you think?

Again, Buckley has written a tidy little political thriller, replete with espionage and betrayal, all based on actual events and historical analysis of the major players, including Che and the brutal Communist dictator, Fidel Castro.

I'll be sure to check out the subsequent Oakes novel on my next trip to the library.

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