A majority of the nearly one million Cuban Americans now living in the US came as political refugees during the 60's; the Marielitos arrived in the 80's. Gernand describes the political conditions that caused their flight and gave rise to their lives as refugees, particularly in Miami and in Union City, N.J., and gives sketches of Cuban Americans in music, dance, ballet, sports, and business. Brief, superficial, didactic, poorly organized, and containing such casual half-truths or inaccuracies as describing Miami as a ""backwater"" and Union City as ""a dying district"" before the Cubans' arrival. This is a disappointing entry in the ""Peoples of North America"" series. Illustrated with photos; series introduction by N.Y. Senator Moynihan; list of additional reading; index.