José Martí Reader
Writings on the Americas
Introduction by Ivan Schulman
A classic anthology of the writings of José Martí, one of Latin America's most luminous voices
This elegant anthology presents the full breadth of José Martí's work as a teacher, journalist, revolutionary and poet. It includes his political essays and writings on culture, his journalism, letters and selections of his poetry, published here in both Spanish and English.
Exiled for decades in the United States, Martí wrote journalistic articles covering such events as the New York memorial meeting for Karl Marx (1883), the funeral of the Haymarket Martyrs (1887), and the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. He also protested the racist treatment of blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.
Along with Simón Bolívar, Martí is regarded as one of the most brilliant and impassioned advocates for social justice and the independence of what he called "Our America." Readers will discover in this book a literary genius and an insightful political commentator on troubled US-Latin America relations.
While fervently condemning the brutality and corruption of the Spanish colonizers, shortly before his death, Martí warned about the increasingly predatory ambitions of the United States, writing: "I have lived inside the monster and I know its entrails; my sling is David's."
José Martí was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1853. At 17, he was imprisoned for treason by the Spanish colonial government. He subsequently lived most of his life in exile, traveling throughout Latin America. Martí lived in New York for 14 years before returning to Cuba where he was killed in the War of Independence against Spain in 1895.
[Martí] added a social agenda to the historic program of national liberation and instantly converted a movement devoted to the establishment of a new nation into a force dedicated to shaping a new society. Martí transformed rebellion into revolution…. Like a master weaver, Martí pulled together all the separate threads of Cuban discontent—social, economic, political, racial, historical—and wove them into a radical movement of enormous force.
—Louis A. Pérez, Jr. (José Martí in the US: The Florida Experience)
Oh Cuba!… the blood of Martí was not yours alone; it belonged to an entire race, to an entire continent; it belonged to the powerful youth who have lost probably the best of teachers; he belonged to the future!