The powerful, untold story of the 1950 revolution in Puerto Rico and the long history of U.S. intervention on the island, that the New York Times says "could not be more timely."
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.
"A pointed, relentless chronicle of a despicable part of past American foreign policy." Kirkus Reviews
A patient, calibrated, fully-researched study of the mendacious, hypocritical way the United States treats its Caribbean colony, castrating its leadership, bombarding its villages, experimenting biologically with its population. Puerto Rico is, in a word, el calabozo. Denis knows the truth first-hand and refuses to sugarcoat it.” Ilan Stavans, author of Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language
Sometime in the not-too distant future, we will resolve the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. To understand where we are going, we must know our pastboth good and bad. War Against All Puerto Ricans
fills an important gap in that historical understanding. It is a book that every student of the USPuerto Rico relationship should read.” Congressman José Serrano
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.