Cuban Studies has changed editors but maintained a tradition of providing a comprehensive survey of the field. The eight core articles of volume 21 and the four articles in the debate section cover a variety of topics and less frequently researched time periods. The articles are characterized by the use of new sources, the treatment of often-neglected issues, and a historical perspective.

Susan Fernández’ contribution, “The Money and Credit Crisis in Late Colonial Cuba, examines the collapse of colonial rule by analyzing the alliance of financial institutions with the Spanish state at the expense of Cuban planters. This contributed to an economic crisis, and encouraged Cuban planters to develop relationships with North American capitalists who could supply funds that Spanish institutions could not.

Louis Pérez’ “Cuba and the United States: Origins and Antecedents of Relations, 1760-1860s” argues that Cuban-U.S. economic relations were established in the eighteenth century, when Spain was increasingly unable to meet the economic and trade needs of the Cuban colony. Using both statistical and travelers’ accounts, Pérez traces the growing influence of the United States on Cuba’s economic and social life.

Gerald Poyo places Cuban communities in the United States in historical perspective. In “The Cuban Experience in the United States, 1865-1940,” he points out that Cuban migration to the United States, fallaciously perceived as a twentieth-century phenomenon, began in the nineteenth century as the developing world economy displaced Cuban workers. These job-seeking, forced migrants, many of them radicalized, were committed to Cuban independence. They underwent a transition from exiles to immigrants identified with the United States as Cuba won its independence from Spain.

Ada Ferrer’s article, “Social Aspects of Cuban Nationalism: Race, Slavery, and the Guerra Chiquita, 1879-1880,” addresses issues of race and racism in that war; and develops a more nuanced understanding of the processes of independence and the social construction of race and nation than that provided in traditional histories.

Aline Helg, in “Afro-Cuban Protest: The Partido Independiente de Color,” employs seldom-used sources, such as the party’s newspaper, Previsión, to analyze incisively the development and destruction of this early twentieth-century Afro-Cuban political party, as well as elite manipulations of race. Along with Carlos Moore’s Castro, the Blacks, and Africa (1988), which is thoroughly discussed in the debate section by Lisa Brock and Otis Cunningham, the articles by Ferrer and Helg highlight the significance of the social construction of race in Latin America and how much work is still needed on the topic. All the contributions in volume 21 ignite an interest in the possibility of further work by the authors and reaffirm the fecundity of Cuban studies.