MixedThe Washington Post... a portrait of Castro through the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959 that is measured and occasionally indulgent, meticulous and readable at the same time ... Hansen’s deep dive into Castro family history is particularly helpful and full of irony ... scholars and Cuban expatriates will quibble with Hansen’s characterization of the revolution’s radical turn ... The biggest question of the book, however, is its framing. In the wake of Castro’s death, what does it mean to read a biography that deals only with his youth? What are the consequences of skirting his nearly five controversial decades as Cuba’s commander in chief? ... Hansen is not a hagiographer, and parts of the book are unflattering and depart from official Cuban lore. But the decision to emphasize Castro’s original idealism is nonetheless striking, as it resonates in many ways with the efforts of Cuban institutions since his retirement in 2006, and especially since his death in 2016, to do the same. By contrast, Castro’s personal life after coming to power, together with many things about the government he led, remains a secret of state. Who knows how future biographers’ appraisals may change if those archives — assuming they even exist — ever open their doors?