From 1848 to the U.S. Civil War, Cubans exiled mostly in New York City — from Miguel T. Tolón to Cirilo Villaverde — produced a dozen newspapers and a few novels, the most prominent being Villaverde’s Cecilia Valdés. Together they expressed a positive vision of filibustering as a way to better Cuba through independence, annexation, or social justice. The author asks how publishing on Cuba from the vantage point of exile in the United States influenced the cultural identity and political effectiveness of these “desterrados” (p. 14).

He finds that they expressed a particularly “transnational” sensibility. Newspapers such as El Horizonte, La Verdad, and El Independiente were all produced in the United States, because Spanish censorship in Cuba made dissent at home impossible. Many put out simultaneous English-language editions of the mostly Spanish-language papers, encouraged their readers to learn English, and circulated clandestine copies in...

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