Exile and Revolution:
José D. Poyo, Key West, and Cuban Independence

Gerald E. Poyo

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"Poyo led nationalist efforts in the exile community in Florida for over thirty years and was a fierce advocate for the cause both before and after, as well as alongside, José Martí. Poyo’s significant but largely unheralded role in the [Cuban] independence movement fully comes to light in this thoroughly researched book."-Anne Fountain, author of José Martí and U.S. Writers

"A must-read for those interested in the Cuban émigré colony of Key West during the nineteenth century and its involvement in the War of 1895 in Cuba."-Consuelo E. Stebbins, author of City of Intrigue, Nest of Revolution

José Dolores Poyo (1836-1911) was an activist, publisher, social critic, fundraiser, and foundational figure in the campaign for Cuban independence from Spain. His leadership and his mantra-"adelante la revolución" (forward the revolution)-mobilized an insurrectionist movement in Key West. His multidimensional grassroots work and his newspaper El Yara, the longest-lived Cuban exile newspaper of the nineteenth century, gave hope to a people who aspired to be liberated from the bonds of colonialism.

In Exile and Revolution, Gerald Poyo provides a comprehensive account of how his great-great-grandfather spurred the working-class community of Key West to transform their roles as supporting cast to become critical actors in the struggle for Cuban independence. The book reveals the depth of Cuba’s longtime ties to Florida, the cigar industry, and its workers; the experience of Cubans in the American South; and the diplomatic intrigues involving Spain, Cuba, and the United States.

Gerald E. Poyo, professor of Latin American and U.S. Latino history at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, is the author of Cuban Catholics in the United States, 1960-1980 and "With All, and for the Good of All. "

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Provides a great deal of valuable information about Cuban exiles, Key West, Cuba-United States relations, and the Cuban separatist movement.-- H-Net Reviews

An engaging and interesting case study. One gains a thorough understanding of Poyo and his exile community in Key West and its struggle for Cuban independence from Spain.-- The Latin Americanist

Gerald Poyo pens a thoughtful text that explores Key West’s role in the Cuban independence movement through the experiences of José Dolores Poyo, his great-great-grandfather . . . A welcome addition to the history of Cuban Key West.-- Cuba Counterpoints

A well-researched and detailed monograph . . . [that] should be read by anyone interested in a better understanding of the nuances and intrigues of the Cuban émigré community that stirred and supported the revolution of 1895.-- Journal of Southern History

Richly descriptive. . . . A book for true lovers of history; people who relish the details of the local and the personal. Moreover, in demonstrating the profound ties linking the two countries, this book should be valuable in opening the door once again to more normalized relations between Cuba and the United States.-- Bulletin of Spanish Studies

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