War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony (Hardcover)

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War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony by Nelson A. Denis.  The tragic history of Puerto Rico since the US occupied the country in 1898 is exposed in this well documented and powerful book.  The Nationalist Party headed by Pedro Albizu Campos organized to bring world attention to Puerto Rico’s colonial status and demand independence. Under US rule Spanish was not allowed in schools, it was illegal to own a Puerto Rican flag, and US companies, individuals, and the military grabbed land destroying Puerto Rico’s agricultural economy. Recently declassified FBI reports clearly detail the role of that agency in the violent destruction of the Nationalist Party especially during the 1950s. Torture and mass arrests across the island were the harsh response to the cries for independence. At the conclusion of the book Denis provides strong evidence of the radiation poisoning of Albizu Campos by his captors.  

— From Joan's Picks


In 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 the island: 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 this uprising, the US Army deployed thousands of troops and bombarded two towns, marking the first time in history that the US government bombed its own citizens.

Nelson A. Denis tells this powerful story through the controversial life of Pedro Albizu Campos, who served as the president of the Nationalist Party. A lawyer, chemical engineer, and the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard Law School, Albizu Campos was imprisoned for twenty-five years and died under mysterious circumstances. By tracing his life and death, Denis shows how the journey of Albizu Campos is part of a larger story of Puerto Rico and US colonialism.

Through oral histories, personal interviews, eyewitness accounts, congressional testimony, and recently declassified FBI files, War Against All Puerto Ricans tells the story of a forgotten revolution and its context in Puerto Rico's history, from the US invasion in 1898 to the modern-day struggle for self-determination. Denis provides 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.

About the Author

Nelson A. Denis was the editorial director of El Diario, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in NYC, and won the Best Editorial Writing award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Denis served as a New York State Assemblyman (1997-2001) and has written for the New York Daily News, Newsday, and Harvard Political Review. Denis also wrote and directed the feature film Vote For Me!, which premiered in the Tribeca Film Festival.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781568585017
ISBN-10: 1568585012
Publisher: Nation Books
Publication Date: April 7th, 2015
Pages: 400
Language: English