Cover image for Operation Pedro Pan : the untold exodus of 14,048 Cuban children
Operation Pedro Pan : the untold exodus of 14,048 Cuban children
Conde, Yvonne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 248 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV640.5.C9 C66 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author Notes

Yvonne M. Condeis a freelance writer in New York City. She has written for Latina Magazine, Crains, Smithsonian, and Hispanic Business Magazine, among others and she has been featured on MSNBC, Fox News Channel and NPR.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

It's a remarkable episode in cold war history: 14,000 Cuban children sent from the island by their parents in the years after Castro's revolution. Conde was a participant but didn't realize she was one of thousands until she read Joan Didion's Miami, which stimulated her curiosity and, ultimately, this book. Conde sent out some 800 questionnaires and received 442 written responses; she interviewed 173 people, including Pedro Pan children, parents, foster parents, journalists, teachers, psychologists, and opponents of Castro in Cuba. The book's primary value lies in the individual stories, from tearful departure and arrival in Miami to temporary shelters and placement in homes or, in some cases, in orphanages; to learning a new language and adjusting and, in many cases, assimilating; to reunions with parents, adolescence in the '60s and '70s, and adulthood. The book is not particularly well written or organized, but its subject makes Conde's work worth considering for acquisition. --Mary Carroll

Publisher's Weekly Review

Conde was 10 when her parents put her on a flight to the U.S. alone. She was one of 14,048 children to make the trip via Operation Pedro Pan, a clandestine organization that smuggled visas intoÄand children out ofÄCuba. This book is not a memoir, but a well-researched history of Operation Pedro Pan, a portrait of early revolutionary Cuba and a compendium of testimony from the now-grown children. As Conde shows, the near-unanimous joy at Castro's ascent turned to growing disillusionment and fear as he revealed his commitment to Communism. The rumor of a coming "patria postetad," a document that allegedly would order all children over the age of three into State care, made exiling the children an attractive option for many. Operation Pedro Pan ultimately involved the Catholic church, the CIA, the State Department and multiple civic groups in the struggle to find U.S. homes for the children. About half were without relatives or friends on arrival and were placed in orphanages, foster homes or boarding schools until their parents could get visas to join them. Conde's study of Pedro Pan cases is interesting, but her conclusionÄthat as adults they are left straddling two culturesÄcould probably be said of any immigrant group. She is better at tracing the causes of the flight than analyzing the effects, especially as she treats her own story in the same brief and fragmentary manner as the other case histories she offers. 8 pages of photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Prologuep. xi
Epiloguep. 215
For More Infomationp. 218
Appendix 1

p. 220

Appendix 2

p. 230

Notesp. 233
Bibliographyp. 240
Indexp. 242