New book and lecture: The Cubans of Union City


In her book, The Cubans of Union City: Immigrants and Exiles in a New Jersey Community (Temple University Press, 2009), Yolanda Prieto, professor emerita of the School of Social Science and Human Services at Ramapo College, explores the multifaceted layers of migrant Cuban life through the Union City community – from its origins to its economic development to its ethnic and political culture.

As a result of the conflicts between Cuba and the United States, especially after 1959, Cubans immigrated in great numbers. Most stayed in Miami, but many headed north to Union City, making it second only to Miami in its concentration of Cubans. In The Cubans of Union City, Yolanda Prieto discusses why Cubans were drawn to this particular city and how the local economy and organizations developed. Central aspects of this story are the roles of women, religion, political culture, and the fact of exile itself. As a member of this community and a participant in many of its activities, Prieto speaks with special authority about its demographic uniqueness. Far from being a snapshot of the community, The Cubans of Union City conveys an ongoing research agenda extending over more than twenty years, from 1959 to the 1980s. As a long-term observer who was also a resident, Prieto offers a unique and insightful view of the dynamics of this community’s evolution.

The Cuba Project/Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies will host a talk by Yolanda Prieto, who will discuss her book, The talk will take place on Thursday, June 25, at 4:00pm at The Graduate Center, Skylight Conference Room (9 th floor), 365 Fifth Avenue (@ 34th Street).

Attendees must reserve by sending e-mail to

For book purchasing information, see

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