WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS

WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS
Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony
BY NELSON A. DENIS

War Against All Puerto Ricans is a powerful, tragic, and untold history of U.S. intervention into the politics of Puerto Rico. From the U.S. invasion in 1898 to the modern day struggle for self-determination, Nelson Denis provides a panoramic history of an island once referred to by the New York Times as a significant “commercial value…it would be much better for [Puerto Rico] to come at once under the beneficent sway of these United States than to engage in doubtful experiments at self-government.”

Based on oral histories, personal interviews, eyewitness accounts, congressional testimony, and recently de-classified FBI files, War Against All Puerto Ricans tells the story of a revolution integral to Puerto Rican history, but virtually unknown to the American public: the Puerto Rican independence revolt of 1950. After over fifty years of military occupation and colonial rule, the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico staged an unsuccessful armed insurrection against the United States. Violence swept through Puerto Rico: assassins were sent to kill President Harry Truman, gunfights roared in eight towns, police stations and post offices were burned down. In order to suppress the uprising, the U.S. Army deployed thousands of troops and bombarded two towns, marking the first time in history that the U.S. bombed its own citizens.

In telling this story, Nelson Denis traces the lives of the key figures that shaped, directed and destroyed the revolution, including Pedro Albizu Campos, president of the Nationalist Party and leader of the Puerto Rican independence movement, who was eventually imprisoned and died under mysterious circumstances. It is an unflinching account of the gunfights, prison riots, political intrigue, FBI and CIA covert activity, and mass hysteria that accompanied this tumultuous period in Puerto Rican history.

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