4 thoughts on “Because reading is fundamental”

  1. Hi Amanda. I have the Cuban American Family Album. It’s a sweet little coffee table book, readable, good pictures, the kind of thing where you flip to any random page and find something interesting to look at or read. Also, it’s in both English and Spanish. Hope this helps:)

  2. Amalia,
    The book is mainly personal stories; a collection of oral history taken from interviews, diaries, letters, etc. It is divided into six chapters: The Old Country, Coming to the United States, Ports of Entry, A New Life, Putting Down Roots, and Part of the United States.
    These short personal accounts reflect the Cuban American experience in the United States since the arrival of castro in Cuba in 1958. There are stories from groups that came in 1959-1962, from the “Freedom Flights,” Pedro Pan, Camarioca, balseros, and the Mariel boatlift. The book covers the years 1959-1995, it has 128 pages, and it’s very easy to read. It’s not an in-depth historical analysis of the Cuban exile community, but it’s a short and easy way to understand what some of us went through as exiles. The book is also full of black and white photographs (with captions).
    The book begins with an introduction by Cuban writer Oscar Hijuelos and ends with a “Cuban Timeline,” which, in my humble opinion, is not complete. In addition, the authors’ can’t help but to show some of their biases with the captions they wrote on some of the photographs. For example: On page 18, the caption under a photograph of castro holding a little girl reads as follows: “When Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, most Cubans hoped he would bring greater prosperity and social equality to the country.” Obviously the authors don’t have a clue. The Cuban revolution was not about prosperity or social equality. It was about restoring the democratic process to the island. Chapter one “The Old Country” is also full of misinformation; not to mention that the authors also parrot the same drivel about “organized crime elements from the U.S. operating casinos and brothels in Havana turning it into a playground of rich Americans.” Very subtly they portray the Cuba of the 1950s as poor and underdeveloped. A caption under a photograph on page 16 reads: “On the outskirts of cities, poverty remained a problem in the 1950s … For children, there was no place to play except the streets. Shoes were an expense that few could afford.” On page 9 the authors refer to Carlos Manuel de Cespedes as “the leader of the independence movement, … of partial African descent.” As far as I’m aware, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes was an aristocrat, descendent from Andalucian nobility. Besides all that, they refer to Cubans as immigrants.
    I hope this helped.

  3. asombra, you’re right, Hoobler is not a Cuban surname, but neither is my last name,
    yet I could not be more Cuban.
    This is a compilation of stories, not about facts and statistics. Clearly this
    would be a leisurely read, so the author’s area of expertise is secondary, at
    least in this case.
    Thank you for input, though.
    (I attempted to reply to asombra by email,but received two returned mail messages. Just in case, I am replying here)

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