Herbert Matthews

Herbert Matthews

Herbert Lionel Matthews (January 10, 1900July 30, 1977) was a reporter and editorialist [ [http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/eresources/archives/collections/html/4079089.html Herbert Lionel Matthews Papers 1943-1982 ] ] for the "New York Times" who grew to notoriety after revealing that Fidel Castro was still alive and living in the Sierra Maestra mountains, though Batista had claimed publicly that he was killed during the July 26 movement's landing.

Born in New York City, Matthews was a graduate of Columbia University and reported from Europe during the Spanish Civil War before returning to New York. His coverage of that war and later the Cuban political situation were subject to substantial criticism for showing communist sympathies, a charge Matthews refuted for years.

His interview with Castro was negotiated by Ruby Phillips, then the Bureau Chief in Havana. Cuban exile author Teo Babun ("The Cuban Revolution: Years of Promise") mentions in a C-SPAN2/BookTV segment that "Castro 'smuggled' Matthews, in early 1957, into the Sierra Maestra in eastern Cuba" to cover the ongoing and subsequent coup of Batista. He also said that Che Guevara later commented, "The presence of a foreign (American-preferred) journalist was more important for us than a military victory." Dead link|date=March 2008

Reflecting conservative displeasure at Matthews' role, the conservative magazine National Review published a caricature of Castro over the caption "I got my job through the New York Times." (The caption was the tagline of contemporary advertisements published by the Times touting its classified ads section.) [ [http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=OGU0MzE5ODA5YjUwYjI3NGM1MDRkYWZiNGYxZWUyYzU= A Dictator’s Scribe by Ronald Radosh on National Review / Digital ] ] Matthews has been compared to Stalin apologist Walter Duranty, a fellow journalist on the "New York Times" staff, by the conservative organization Accuracy in Media. [ [http://www.aim.org/aim_column/A2459_0_3_0_C/ The Perils Of Journalism ] ]

In February, 2007, a Reuters report quoted Cuba's state news agency as reporting that Cuba had unveiled a plaque in the Sierra Maestra to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Matthews-Castro interview. In his book "The Man Who Invented Castro", Anthony dePalma describes driving in a four-wheeled vehicle in 2005 trying to retrace Mathews trek to the site of the interview. Finally he found a 16-year-old who said he knew where the site was. After trudging two hours on foot over rugged terrain, dePalma was ready to turn back when the three-foot-high marker was pointed out to him. He writes that the marker had the following words: "In this place, Commander in chief Fidel Castro Ruz met with the North American journalisht Herbert Matthews on February 17, 1957". The marker was erected on the fortieth anniversary of the interview in 1997.cite book
last =dePalma
first =Anthony
authorlink =
title = The Man Who Invented Fidel
publisher = Public Affairs
date =2006
location =New York
pages =279–280
id =
isbn = 1-58648-332-3


Partial bibliography

* Koch, Stephen 2005 The Breaking Point: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and the Murder of Jose Robles. Counterpoint Press, New York ISBN 1-58243-280-5
* Matthews, Herbert Lionel 1961 The Cuban story. G. Braziller ASIN: B0007DNCMS
* Matthews, Herbert Lionel 1961 The yoke and the arrows; A report on Spain G. Braziller; Rev. ed edition ASIN: B0007DFF7I
* Matthews, Herbert Lionel -1964 Return to Cuba. Stanford U, Institute of Hispanic American & Luso-Brazilian Studies, A Special Issue Of ‘Hispanic American Report’ Stanford, Ca
* Matthews, Herbert Lionel – 1969 Castro: A Political Biography. New York: Simon & Schuster
* Matthews, Herbert Lionel – 1969 Cuba. New York: The Macmillan Co. London: Collier-Macmillan
* Matthews, Herbert Lionel 1969 Fidel Castro. Simon & Schuster, Clarion Book New York
* Matthews, Herbert Lionel 1973 Half of Spain Died: A Reappraisal of the Spanish Civil War. New York, Scribner, 1973
* Matthews, Herbert Lionel -1975 Revolution in Cuba: An Essay in Understandings. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons


*Depalma, Anthony 2006 The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba, and Herbert L. Matthews of The New York Times. PublicAffairs Perseus Publishing New York ISBN 1-58648-332-3

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