Florida Historical Society Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Award
“Tampa cigar workers were people of such strength and vision that their influence on Tampa endures to this day. Read Tampa Cigar Workers to understand why so many native Tampa residents are proud to say they are the descendants of laborers who spent their days handling tobacco leaves—and building a better life for their families and the city.”—Tampa Tribune
“The various images that fill the book and the timely quotes from contemporary sources and reminiscences that bolster these images make this collection a true treasure.”—Florida Historical Quarterly
“Ingalls and Pérez combine scholarly research and striking photography to create a history of Tampa’s cigar industry worthy of its subject. The use of original documentation to narrate the photographs sets this book above the usual photographic histories. Tampa Cigar Workers is a must-read for anyone interested in Tampa history.”—Rodney Kite-Powell, Tampa Bay History Center
"Combining powerful images with compelling quotes, Ingalls and Perez capture the extraordinary world the cigar workers created and the imprint it has left on the historical landscape even after its demise."—Nancy A. Hewitt, emerita professor, Rutgers University
"An inspiring and deeply moving account of how immigrant tobacco workers from Cuba, Spain, and Italy arrived and created communities in the Tampa Bay area . . . accompanied by a remarkable collection of historic photographs of Tampa's cigar workers."—Gerald E. Poyo, author of Exile and Revolution: José D. Poyo, Key West, and Cuban Independence
From the founding of Ybor City in 1886 to the dispersal of Tampa’s Latin population in the years following World War II, Tampa’s Cigar Workers documents the history of the Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants who created the cigar industry in Tampa and the extraordinary multi-ethnic community that flourished around it. More than 200 photos capture this community’s personalities and way of life while commentary drawn from newspaper accounts, oral histories, and archival documents identifies and explains each photograph’s historical place and significance. In linking the photographs with historical text, the authors allow the cigar workers to tell their own story, in the language of their day.
The rich photographic record around which the book is organized communicates the lives of these workers not only in the workplace but also in their vibrant Ybor City and West Tampa neighborhoods. The book depicts the making of cigars, the work culture, local support for the Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898), unions and strikes, community institutions such as mutual aid clubs, leisure activities, and social practices surrounding courtship, marriage, and death. Highlighting the diversity of the cigar workers’ community, the authors present an inspiring and deeply moving story of how these immigrants carved out their space in Tampa while struggling to survive economically and defending their ideals and way of life.
Robert P. Ingalls is professor emeritus of history at University of South Florida, Tampa. Louis A. Pérez, Jr., is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
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Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Award - 2004
"We are very impressed by the recently released hardbound book Tampa Cigar Workers… The book is attractively laid out and is very enjoyable to read. We strongly suggest it to anyone who is interested in Tampa's history." - La Gaceta
"Tampa cigar workers were people of such strength and vision that their influence on Tampa endures to this day. Read 'Tampa Cigar Workers' to understand why so many native Tampa residents are proud to say they are the descendants of laborers who spent their days handling tobacco leaves- and building a better life for their families and the city." - Tampa Tribune
"The various images that fill the book and the timley quotes from contemporary sources and reminiscences that bolster these images make this collection a true treasure."
--Florida Historical Quarterly
"Popular history in its truest and finest form."