The Lost Apple by Maria de los Angeles Torres
Operation Pedro Pan, Cuban Children in the U.S., and the Promise of a Better Future

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“A relentless investigator of history . . . Torres is determined to unravel the mysteries of the transport of over 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the United States.” —Liz Balmaseda, The Miami Herald

From 1960 to 1962, in a program partially financed by the U.S. government, 14,048 Cuban minors arrived in Miami, sent to America by parents terrified that the new communist government would ship their children to Soviet work camps. María de los Angeles Torres was six years old when she took part in this massive airlift, now known as “Operation Pedro Pan.”

Examining the event from both a historical and a deeply personal perspective, Torres focuses on the plight of the refugee children, broaching a larger discussion of how nations imagine their future through their progeny. With astonishing tenacity, Torres scoured hundreds of documents from Cuba and the United States, and even sued the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act—forcing declassification of key documents.

The Lost Apple challenges America to finally come to terms with this pivotal yet largely neglected exodus.

A frequent media commentator on Cuban-U.S. relations, María de los Angeles Torres is associate professor of political science at DePaul University and author of several books, including In the Land of Mirrors: Cuban Exile Politics in the United States. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

About Maria de los Angeles Torres

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Torres is Associate Professor of Political Science at DePaul University.
Published August 1, 2003 by Beacon Press. 272 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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Nuanced explanation of a Cold War program that allowed approximately 14,000 Cuban children to enter the US in an effort to save them from Communism, written by one of those refugees.

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Publishers Weekly

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In the early 1960s—40 years before Elian Gonzalez was found tied to an inner tube off the Florida coast—more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children arrived in the United States through a clandestine airlift program known as Operation Pedro Pan.

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