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