FIFTY-SIX YEARS ago today, in 1959, a 32-year-old victorious revolutionary named Fidel Castro arrived at Back Bay Station to face a raucous crowd of 5,000 Bostonians.
Graham Allison writes in the Boston Globe that Castro was headed to Harvard, his last stop on a 12-day trip along the East Coast....Castro’s visit aroused so much excitement that Harvard had no auditorium large enough to host his speech. So the Harvard football stadium was converted into an amphitheater.
"The social sciences rarely allow for controlled experiments where we can test initiatives for cause and effect," Allison writes. "But occasionally the world around us offers its own clues. Is it accidental that the two states that have persisted the longest as bastions of Stalinist authoritarianism are the two that the US has most harshly isolated and sanctioned: North Korea and Cuba?"