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[EN] = English Language Publication
[FR] = French Language Publication
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Cuban History



dingGeneral History

  • [ES] Historia de la Isla de Cuba, Carlos Marquez Sterling & Manuel Marquez Sterling, 1975. Regents Publishing Company, Inc. 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016 [ISBN 0-88345-251-0]. Historia de la Isla de Cuba

    A small but accurate and complete textbook. Indispensable for all those interested in Cuba,

  • [ES] Historia de los Municipios de Cuba , Joaquin Freire, 1985. La Moderna Poesia. Historia De Los Municipios De Cuba

    This book describes the histories of all the municipios (counties) in Cuba, and includes short notes on prominent individuals born in each.

  • [EN & ES] Cuban Provinces

    A web page listing the Administrative Departments and Provinces in existence in Cuba from 1827 to the present (on this web site)


dingColonial Era

  • [ES] Cuba, Isla Abierta - Poblamiento y Apellidos Siglos XVI-XIX, Leví Marrero, 1998, Ediciones Capiro, Puerto Rico, 1994.

    Amazon.comCuba: Isla Abierta (Siglos XVI-XIX)

    A scholarly work listing the last names and centuries when early prominent families settled in Cuba and the countries of origin of many Cuban surnames.

  • [ES] La Emigración Canaria a América (1765-1824), Manuel Hernández González, 1996, Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria [ISBN: 84-7926-233-0].

    A detailed study of the emigration from the Canary Islands to the New World, including emigration to Cuba and Puerto Rico. Gives brief accounts of families that achieved prominence in the New World.

  • [ES] La Colonia China de Cuba 1930-1960, Napoleon Seuc, 1998, Dr. Napoleon Seuc, 2553 SW 19 St., Miami, FL 33145-2409, [ISBN: 0-9666333-0].

    A collection of historical facts and personal anecdotes describing the Chinese immigration to Cuba and the contributions of Chinese-Cubans to Cuban culture and history.

  • [ES] 1762. La Habana Inglesa - La Toma de La Habana por los Ingleses, Guillermo Calleja Leal, Hugo O'Donnell y Duque de Estrada, Ediciones de Cultura Hispanica, Madrid, 1999 [ISBN: 84-7232-830-9, NIPO: 028-99-028-2, Dep. Legal; M.45932-1999]. For sale by the Miami bookstore Ediciones Universal (paperback US$20 - 262 pages). 1762, La Habana Inglesa: La toma de La Habana por los ingleses

    An interesting illustrated book on the British occupation of La Habana in 1762 covering military, historic and political aspects. Contains interesting little known facts (Did you know that George Washington participated in the capture of La Habana as a Capitan in the British forces? Did you know that during the 10+ months of British occupation, slave trade increased markedly and 10,700 african slaves were imported by John Kennion, an Irish merchant who was granted monopoly rights to the slave trade by the British Governor Lord Albemarle?).

  • [EN] Slave Emancipation in Cuba, Rebecca J. Scott, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 1985 [ISBN: 0-691-07667-7 (cloth) 0-691-10157-4 (pbk.)].

    Amazon.comSlave emancipation in Cuba: The transition to free labor, 1860-1899

    This detailed historical work analyzes the gradual transition to free labor in Cuba 1860-1899 and the partial substitution of slave labor with the labor of freed slaves and immigrant workers from China and Spain.

  • [ES] Santiago de Cuba - Historia y Folklore, Dr. Pedro de Moya, Editorial Arenas, 1993 [ISBN 1-56578-042-6] 424 pages.

    A very complete history of the city of Santiago de Cuba, from its earliest days until the end of the Republican era. Full of events and names of individuals who played a significant role in the development of the city. Only minor criticism I would make is a lack of a detailed index and frequent repetition of the same events, otherwise a must have book for anyone interested in Cuban history.

  • [ES] La Sacarocracia: Historia de la Aristocracia Azucarera Cubana, Dr. Ruben Arango, 2006, Ego Group, Inc., Miami, Florida.

    Amazon.comLa Sacarocracia: Historia de la Aristocracia Azucarera

  • [ES] La Emigración del noroeste de Tenerife a América durante 1750-1830 (The Emigration from Northwest Tenerife to America during 1750-1830) - Doctoral Thesis by Felix Rodriguez Mendoza of the Universidad de la Laguna in Tenerife, ISBN: 84-7756-596-1. This is a large document (998 pages) which includes at the end a 67-page table of individuals who emigrated to America during this period. The table includes the town of origin, port, ship captain, name of ship and name of the person who loaned the money for the passage. The text of the thesis describes the reasons for the voyage.1

    The thesis can be downloaded from this link:
    (Note that you must have the Adobe Reader plug-in installed on your browser for this link to work. Please note that due to the size of the file, 7074 KB, the download will take some time).
    An alternate link is:
    1 Thanks to Andres M. for posting this information to the CUBA list.

  • [FR] Le Planteur et le Roi - L'Aristocratie Havanaise et la Couronne D'Espagne (1763-1838) - by Dominique Goncalvès, Casa de Velázquez. ISBN # 8496820165. Book about more than 40 aristocratic families of Habana in the XVIII and XIX centuries, such as the Peñalver, Chacon, Arango, Calvo de la Puerta, O'Farrill, etc., including family trees, and their links to the Spanish Crown.

    Click the following links for:


dingLiberation Wars

  • [EN] War in Cuba or The Great Struggle from Freedom , Gonzalo de Quesada and Henry Davenport Northrup, W.S. Reeve Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1896-98 (several editions, one of 680 pages).

    A detailed war time chronicle of the struggle for Cuban independence from Spain, written to elicit support from US public opinion. Contains many details of heroic deeds by Cuban patriots and supporters and of atrocities committed by the Spanish during that period.

  • [EN] The Virginius Affair, Richard H. Bradford, Colorado Associated University Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1980 [ISBN: 0-87081-080-4, LC: 20-520000].

    Amazon.comThe Virginius affair

    A detailed chronicle of an incident in 1873 (during the Ten Years War) where the gun-running ship Virginius was captured by a Spanish warship and the Captain and 37 members of the crew and passengers, including both US citizens and Cuban patriots, were executed by shooting them in the back, a few at a time, until the valiant intervention of a British warship commanded by Sir Lambton Lorraine.

  • [EN] Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution,1868-1898 , Ada Ferrer. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1999. [ISBN 0-8078-4783-6 paperback edition (US$18.95), ISBN 0-8078-2500-X cloth edition (US$55)].

    Amazon.comInsurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898

    Examines the tensions between racism and anti-racism contained within Cuban nationalism.

  • [ES] La Presencia Militar Española en Cuba (1868-1895) (The Spanish Military Presence in Cuba (1868-1895)). Monografias del CESEDEN, Ministerio de Defensa, 1995. [NIPO: 076-95-200-7, ISBN: 84-7823-435-7]

    A series of essays describing, from the Spanish Military point of view, military and political events in Cuba during the period of the Ten Years War and ending with the death of José Martí on 19 May 1895.


Books About the War of Independence

Although there are many books on the Spanish-American War from the US point of view, not many cover the years of struggle of Cubans against the Spanish Colonizers. Here are a few selected ones on this topic:

Contemporary books

Usually available through your local library or local bookstore. The Spanish language titles are usually available for purchase at the Ediciones Universal or La Moderna Poesia bookstores in Miami (prices listed are those in effect when I bought the books and may have changed since then)

  • [ES] Ensayo Historico Sobre la Invasión, B. Souza, Miami 1999 (no publisher listed) ($16.95).

  • [ES] Antonio Maceo Grajales, El Titán de Bronce, Jose Mármol, Ediciones Universal, Miami 1998 [LC 98-87309, ISBN 0-89729-880-2] ($13). Antonio Maceo Grajales: El Titan De Bronce (Coleccion Cuba y Sus Jueces)

  • [ES] Ejercito Libertador de Cuba 1895-1898 , Mario Riera Hernandez, Miami 1985 (no publisher listed) ($14.95).

  • [EN] Remember the Maine and to Hell with Spain, Campaign Booklet IX, Greg Novak, 1990, Ulster Imports, PO Box 1748, Champaign, IL 61824-2748.

    A well researched booklet of facts and figures on all 3 armies that participated in the Cuban War of Independence / Spanish-American War. Includes organization, manpower, equipment, history and a bibliography. Intended for the serious war gamer (sold direct only).

  • [EN] Cuba Libre, Elmore Leonard, 2000, Dell Books (paperback), [ISBN 0385323840] ($9.95). Cuba Libre

    An adventure novel set in Cuba during the last days of the War of Independence. Not many concrete facts, but gives you a sense of the feelings between the Cubans and Spaniards at the time.

  • [EN] The War of 1898, Luis A. Perez, Jr., University of North Carolina Press, 1998 [ISBN 0-8078-2437-2 cloth, 0-8078-4742-9 paper] ($34.95 cloth, $16.95 paper). The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography

    (haven't read this one, so can't comment)

  • [EN] Insurgent Cuba - Race, Nation and Revolution, Ada Ferrer, University of North Carolina Press, 1999 [ISBN 0-8078-2500-X cloth, 0-8078-4783-6 paper] ($55 cloth, $18.95 paper). Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898

    (haven't read this one, so can't comment)

  • [Gallego] Galegos que Loitaron Pola Independencia de Cuba; Xose Neira Vilas, Edicios do Castro, 1998, A Coruña. [ISBN: 84-7492-882-6] Galegos que loitaron pola independencia de Cuba (Documentos)

    Documents the genealogy of 109 Gallegos who fought on the Cuban side during the War of Independence (contributed by Jorge Piñon).


Old and rare books

Sometimes available through your local library on inter-library loan or for consultation on site at major libraries such as the NY Public Library or the US Library of Congress. Some have been microfilmed by the LDS Church:

  • [ES] Mis Primeros Treinta Años - Memorias , General Manuel Piedra Martel (Coronel del Ejercito Libertador), First Edition 1943, Second Edition 1944, Editorial Minerva, Habana.

    A first hand account of the war by a relative who was an Aide to General Antonio Maceo.

  • [ES] Yndice Alfabético y Defunciones del Ejército Libertador de Cuba - Guerra de Independencia, iniciada el 24 de Febrero de 1895 y terminada oficialmente el 24 de Agosto de 1898 (Alphabetic Index and Deaths of the Cuban Liberation Army - Cuban War of Independence, started 24 February 1895 and officially ended 24 Aug 1898), Carlos Roloff. Habana, Impr. de Rambla y Bouza, 1901. [LOC F1786.C95, LDS microfilm number 1844674].

    This is the book from which the transcriptions are being made.

  • [ES] Cuba: Imagenes del 98, Texts by Ivan Leon & Juan Carlos Herrera, (no publisher or publication date listed). [LOC: E717.1.L46 1998].

    Photos of the War.

  • [ES] Prisioneros y Deportados Cubanos 1895-1898 en la Guerra de Independencia, Pablo de la Concepción, Imp. P. Fernandez, 1932, 520pp, 28 plates.

    Can be considered the Cuban version of "Papillon". A unique first hand account of a young (18 years old) Mambí soldier who was captured and condemned to the notorious Spanish prison in Ceuta. The appendix of the book contains lists of Cuban prisoners held in the Spanish prisons of Ceuta, the Castle of Acho in Ceuta, Chafarinas, and Madrid. The appendix also lists deaths of Cuban prisoners that occured in the hospital in Ceuta, and in jails in Madrid and Cadiz, during the Cuban War of Independence.

  • [ES] Diccionario Enciclopedico de Historia Militar De Cuba, 3 vols., Editorial Verde Olivo 2004, General de Brigada Amels Escalante Colas, Coronel Angel Jimenez Gonzalez, Teniente Coronel Francisco Gomez Balboa, Coronel Pedro Sutie Mohedano, Coronel Juan Sanchez Rodriguez, Coronel Alcides Ferras Guerrero. ISBN: 959-224-130-9. Diccionario Enciclopedico de Historia Militar de Cuba

    Llisted as a rare book because of difficulty in finding it outside of Cuba (listed in catalog but unavailable from The first volume comprises biographies of officers of the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and higher that took part in Cuban conflicts in the years 1510-1898. The second volume incudes combat actions during the same period and the third volume includes naval expeditions, political and military events and new books.


dingIndustrial & Cultural Development

  • [ES] Cuba: Economía y Sociedad, Volumes I-XV , Leví Marrero, Ediciones Universal.

    Comprehensive scholarly study of the Economic and Social factors which influenced the development of Cuba.

  • [ES] Cronicas de Santiago de Cuba, Emilio Bacardi y Moreau, 1972, Madrid, Graf. Breogan, [LC Call No. F1849.S3.B33].

    A 10 volume work detailing the social and cultural development of Santiago de Cuba. A historical masterwork in diary format.

  • [EN] Sugar and Railroads, A Cuban History, 1837-1959, Oscar Zanetti and Alejandro Garcia. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1999. [ISBN 0-8078-4692-9 paperback edition (US$29.95), ISBN 0-8078-2385-6 cloth edition (US$59.95)].

    Amazon.comSugar and Railroads: A Cuban History, 1837-1959

    An English translation of the prize-winning book Caminos Para el Azúcar traces the history of railroads in Cuba from their introduction in the nineteenth century through the 1959 communist revolution.

  • [EN] Enciclopedia Economica de Cuba Republicana - tomo I - Las Empresas de Cuba 1958 (Economic Encyclopaedia of Republican Cuba - Vol I - The Enterprises of Cuba 1958), Guillermo Jimenez, Ediciones Universal, Miami, Florida, 2000. [ISBN 0-89729-775-X (complete work/ 4 volumes), 0-89729-904-3 (volume I) Enciclopedia economica de Cuba Republicana (Coleccion diccionarios)

    Contains 1380 entries, each one providing details of a principal industrial or commercial enterprise existing in Cuba in 1958. Typically includes the history of the enterprise, names of owners, and in some cases their relationship to other well known industrialists, merchants or politicians. Also includes information on the product brand names and on the enterprise's capitalization including major bank loans. Truly a definitive reference work, which we have found quite useful and accurate. NOTE: Although above link is for the complete work, only Volume I has been published as of 2007.


dingModern Era and Exile

  • [EN] The Cuban American Family Album, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, Oxford University Press, New York, 1996 [ISBN: 0-19-508132-3 (hard cover), 0-19-510340-8 (trade paperback)].

    Amazon.comThe Cuban American Family Album (American Family Albums)

    An illustrated collection of historical facts and personal anecdotes describing the various emigrations of Cubans to the United States. Recommended particularly for the generation of Cuban-Americans born in the United States to better understand their heritage and events loading to their exodus to the United States.



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Cuban History - Updated 28-Nov-2009

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