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Book Reviews

Cubans: An Epic Journey, the Struggle of Exiles for Truth and Freedom

In October 1965, President Lyndon Johnson stated that the spirit of America held tradition as an asylum for the oppressed, and he pledged 'to the people of Cuba that those who seek refuge here will find it'. And they did. Even before the President's speech, thousands of Cubans had been flooding the shores of America and other countries, with the Freedom Tower in Miami becoming refugees sentinel of liberty.

Cubans: An Epic Journey, the Struggle of Exiles for Truth and Freedom

Cubans: An Epic Journey

The Struggle of Exiles for Truth and Freedom

Author: Sam Verdeja, Guillermo Martinez

782 pp. Reedy Press

Their experience over the last sixty years is captured in Cubans: An Epic Journey, a collection of more than thirty essays by renowned scholars, historians, journalists, and media professionals. Contributors like magazine publisher Sam Verdeja, print and broadcast journalist Guillermo Martinez, newspaper editor Howard Kleinberg, business executive Louise O’ Brien, university professor Leonardo Rodriguez, and broadcast commentator Francisco Rodriguez cover myriad topics, from the fight against a totalitarian regime, to myths about the accomplishments of the Cuban Revolution, to the personal stories of Cubans who have made significant contributions to American society.

The essays in Cubans explore different topics but share a similar endeavor to reveal the complex interrelationships among the Cuban people, their homeland, the exile community, and American government and society. The Cuban experience in America and other countries has proven disappointing and remarkable; disappointing because a homeland was lost and attempts to retrieve it turned into a nightmare, remarkable because refugees settled in their new countries and soon flourished, particularly in the United States, in many aspects of society.

The book is divided into 39 chapters in two major sections, The History in the first 16 chapters and The Exile Experience in the remaining chapters, as well as an Epilogue and five appendices. The second section of the book is subdivided into Business and Finance; Arts, Entertainment, and Religion; Media and Advertising; Professionals; and Political, Civic and Social Life.