ALTHOUGH JOSÉ MARTÍ touched upon many philosophical and sociological topics in his writings, his major interest and dedication, when he was not brooding about his personal griefs and torturing his sensibilities to the breaking point, was in politics.
In about an hour and a half one can easily run through the two- volume index to Quesada y Miranda Obras completas de Martí, and find references to many of the major political theorists of the Westent world. By no stretch of charity, however, can Martí be considered to have thought out a consistent political theory. He had little time for closet philosophy in the matter of politics. He was, first and last, from his revolutionary tract Patria libre to the Manifiesto de Montecristi, an active revolutionist. Yet in the course of fulfilling this self-appointed mission in life he had occasion to include in his letters, newspaper articles, poetry, drama, and notes novel observations about political theory, public administration, comparative government, legislation, civil rights, law, economics, and through it all, a belief in a humanistic philosophy. Martí had an insatiable curiosity that led him to many insights into the practical workings of politics, which he seemed to prefer to the study of organized theory.
These references are to be found mainly in Martí's sixteen volumes on "North Americans and North American Scenes," his four volumes on "European Scenes," and in his three volumes of notes. Volumes I through IX of his collected works, which deal with Cuban politics and the: Revolution, represent letters, documents, and newspaper articles largely from Patria, and contain many of Martí's ideas about politics, but they generally do not include abstract political philosophy.