Cover image for Cubans in America : a vibrant history of a people in exile
Cubans in America : a vibrant history of a people in exile
Antón, Alex.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Kensington, [2002]

Physical Description:
xviii, 286 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
General Note:
"As seen on TV"--Jacket.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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E184.C97 A58 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From Key West to New York City to Chicago and L.A., Cuban Americans have been a people searching for freedom, preserving the memories of the island they left behind, and determined to make their mark on their new country. This lavishly illustrated volume conveys with photographs and powerful words, their roots, their struggles, and their distinctly Cuban voice.

The story begins in the 16th century with the settlement of St. Augustine, Florida, when a sophisticated island with its jewel city of Havana established its American links. Two centuries later, Cuba came to the aid of the young colonies by contributing soldiers and money to the American Revolution. For Cubans, America would soon become a place of refuge from political struggle that originated with the first exodus in the 1920s when the island sought freedom from Spain.

In the twentieth century, new refugees fleeing Castro's regime brought an unmistakably Cuban flavor to Miami and points north up the Eastern seaboard, including Union City, New Jersey. The Bay of Pigs invasion, the Mariel boatlift, and Washington's changing strategies in dealing with Castro brought defeat and betrayal to these exiles, but also new hope for freedom and democracy in their beloved island.

Here are the stories of the heroes and celebrities of the past and the present: poet Miguel Teurbe Tolon, who designed the Cuban flag while in New York; Jose Marti, the Father of Cuban independence, who mobilized thousands of cigar makers in New York, Tampa and Key West to fight against the colonial rule of their homeland; entertainers Gloria Estefan and Andy Garcia; Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Oscar Hijuelos; baseball stars Orlando 'El Duque' Hernandez andJose Canseco; the late chairman of Coca Cola, Roberto Goizueta; founder Jeff

Author Notes

Alex Anton is the creator of the landmark television special Cubans in America, as well as such acclaimed films as Adios Patria, which aired in English on PBS television and in Spanish on the Univision network, and Forever Present: Brothers to the Rescue. He was born in Cuba and arrived in Miami in 1974. He is the founding director of the Cuban Oral History Project at St. Thomas University, Miami
Roger E. Hernandez's nationally syndicated column appears in 40 newspapers, including the Washington Post, L.A. Daily News and Dallas Morning News. He has written for the New York Times and Reader's Digest, and is Writer-in-Residence at New Jersey Institute of Technology and a member of Rutgers University's adjunct journalism faculty. Born in Cuba, he was raised in Union City and now lives in Upper Montclair, N.J. with his wife and children

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Although the number of Cubans in America grew exponentially in 1959, it was by no means the first significant influx from the island, according to the authors of this inviting account of Cuban Americans. Rather, the history of Cubans living in America began as early as the sixteenth century, when both Florida and Cuba were Spanish territories. Columbus, de Soto, and countless other explorers found a connection between the two would-be countries, and no dictator has been able to sever the ties completely in the island's 100 years of independence. That independence was won with the help of Cuban American soldiers, in fact, who went back to their homeland to help in the revolution. Anton and Hernandez trace the growth of the Cuban American population, tied at all times to the political climate in Cuba; sometimes Cubans came as immigrants, but more often they came in exile. Lots of photographs and sidebars help make this brief history interesting and easy to read. --Mary Frances Wilkens

Publisher's Weekly Review

Southern Activists From 19th century abolitionist Gaspar Betancourt Cisneros to six-year-old castaway Eli n Gonz lez, Cubans in America: A Vibrant History of a People in Exile traces the fortunes of the island's millions of emigrants to the U.S. Beginning with the first Cuban settlements in the 15th century, filmmaker Alex Anton and journalist Roger E. Hernandez explore the upheavals in Cuba that brought refugees north, as well as the social and political life of the exiles in the U.S. About half of this concise, illustrated history is devoted to events after the 1959 revolution, with spotlights on Ricky Ricardo, Gloria Estefan and other Cuban celebrities, athletes, businessmen and politicians. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Author's Forewordp. xiii
Introductionp. xvii
Section I Beginnings to Republic
Chapter 1 The First Cubans 1492-1789p. 3
Chapter 2 Exilios Begin 1789-1868p. 26
Chapter 3 Wars and Independence 1868-1902p. 50
Section II Republic to Revolution
Chapter 4 Immigrant Years 1902-1952p. 99
Chapter 5 Fighting the Sergeant 1952-1958p. 126
Section III Revolution to Exile
Chapter 6 Castro's Takeover 1959-1965p. 146
Chapter 7 Freedom Flights 1965-1973p. 166
Chapter 8 Living in America 1973-1980p. 183
Chapter 9 Mariel and the Rise of Cuban-Americans 1980-1989p. 201
Chapter 10 Rafters and Bittersweet Dreams 1990-Presentp. 228
Bibliographyp. 275
Indexp. 281