A well-researched and authoritative history of a Cuban exile who became president.

Before "Cuba Libre"


A debut work examines one of the first leaders of Cuba after its independence from Spain.

In this history book, García shares the story of Tomás Estrada Palma, who served as Cuba’s president in the first decade of the 20th century. The volume opens in central New York, where Estrada Palma was living in exile at the time of his election to the presidency, and follows him on his return to his native country before the text diverts into a brief biography in which García does an excellent job of distinguishing the known facts of his life from the many rumors and half-truths that have arisen from the limited information available about his early years. The book also covers Estrada Palma’s involvement in politics and the fight for independence from Spain, leading to his capture as a prisoner of war, and his peripatetic career in Europe and the Americas following his eventual release. The author explains the challenges Cuba’s would-be liberators faced under international law as well as the importance of the lobbying and public relations campaigns Estrada Palma oversaw while living in the United States (“The details of the suffering of the Cuban civilians at the hands of the Spaniards” were publicized “widely by Estrada Palma and the Junta, gaining sympathy to their cause by more and more segments of American public opinion and more and more politicians”). The years after his return to Cuba, including his presidency and resignation, are addressed only briefly in the final chapter; García writes that the book “is limited to his life ‘outside Cuba’ which is least known.” Eliding this period of history, which led to one of several occupations of Cuba by the United States that occurred between the Spanish-American War and the Cuban Revolution, leaves the reader unfamiliar with Cuban history at something of a disadvantage, though it does permit a far more focused narrative than would be possible with greater context. García’s research is evident throughout, with sources thoroughly cited and historical photographs appearing frequently to provide illustration. The author delivers a solid and clearly written summation of one chapter in Cuba’s history, with an emphasis on the long-standing connections to the United States that have shaped the island’s fate.

A well-researched and authoritative history of a Cuban exile who became president.

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4787-7391-7

Page Count: 226

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?


From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet