During the Christmas holidays of 1960, some Cuban youths unwrapped gifts of militia field campaign tents or fatigues. Presents such as these might even have been delivered by bearded milicianos playing the Three Kings of the Epiphany, a holiday that the government had begun to promote over the overcommercialized and Americanized Christmas the year before, in the last days of the revolution's first year in power.

Such engaging details appear throughout Anita Casavantes Bradford's book on children in the Cuban Revolution, which teems with mass youth rallies and babies named Yuri in honor of a Soviet astronaut as well as Operation Pedro Pan toddlers sent to South Florida with notes pinned to their clothes begging their US-based benefactors to save relatives from the Reds. And, of course, the book recalls the now iconic image of wide-eyed Elián González, the young boy who...

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