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

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

by Nelson A Denis

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568585024
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 55,101
File size: 7 MB

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 NewsNewsday, and Harvard Political Review. Denis also wrote and directed the feature film Vote For Me!, which premiered in the Tribeca Film Festival.

Table of Contents

Preface xi


Chapter 1 La Princesa 3

Chapter 2 Four Hundred Years of Solitude 11

Chapter 3 Our Children Speak English and Spanish 19

Chapter 4 The Green Pope 25

Chapter 5 A Good Career Move 33

Chapter 6 Cadets of the Republic 37

Chapter 7 The Ponce Massacre 43

Chapter 8 It's Only Chinatown 55

Chapter 9 Carpetas 73


Chapter 10 The Governor 81

Chapter 11 How to Rule a Country with a One-Page Report 99

Chapter 12 The Nationalist 109

Chapter 13 The Artist 133

Chapter 14 The OSS Agent 147

Chapter 15 The Barber 157

Chapter 16 The Academy of Truth 171


Chapter 17 Last Days 185

Chapter 18 Revolution 191

Chapter 19 Salón Boricua 209

Chapter 20 La Caja de Chinchas 223

Chapter 21 Atomic Lynching 233

Chapter 22 Weird Science in Puerto Rico 239

Chapter 23 The King of the Towels 247

Epilogue 253

Appendix 263

Acknowledgments 269

Sources and Methodology 271

Notes 275

Bibliography 347

Index 361

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War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
El_Capo More than 1 year ago
I was fascinated. Could not stop reading. Learned a lot about the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. It saddens me as a Puerto Rican and an American that our relationship started as portrayed by this book.
Boricuita More than 1 year ago
Born in the U.S., but raised in Puerto Rico through Elementary, Middle School, High School and College in Puerto Rico. I never ever was told or teach about this historic era. This book is EASY TO READ, because is very well written and easy explained. This kind of put you through the struggles and pain the our boricuas went through. Chapters like Cadets of the Republic, The Ponce Massacre and others are incredible reading. This is a must read book for all Puerto Ricans everywhere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived in Puerto Rico for about 15 years 1984-1999. From what I have read so far, this book explains and answers some of the questions I have asked over the years about the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. I will purchase thid soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have learned some things about Puerto Rico while I was growing and visiting Puerto Rico. Also, I have learned some things from school while learning Puerto Rican history in New York City as a 6th grader. I started my interest in this book because of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. I have been disgusted in how Puerto Rico is treated by Donald Trump. By just reading this book, I have learned so much more about the Civil Rights of my ancestors being oppressed like we were Jewish people in Nazi Germany being murdered, abused, oppressed, poisoned, and population control. If enough Puerto Rican people read this book, I have a feeling that people would support Independence for Puerto Rico rather be a State nor a Common Wealth Colony. I have been speaking to my own people and I have learned that so much information in our history is not well known. Some people fear to be independent due to the economy brought upon by the USA and the Joans Act. These people need to understand why is this happening. Education is key for them to get this information. It is possible that this part of Puerto Rico's History is not being taught in school. I have spread the word to other Puerto Ricans to read this book and some of them are really interested in purchasing this book. I have not finished the book but I have read about half of the book through many chapters every week. We need restart the Independence Movement by reviving the Cadets of the Republic to show all Puerto Ricans that independence is very possible. We have to be brave. The island has been used and abused through their cash crops such as sugar cane and tobacco. People are getting sick from the bombings runs on the island of Vieques and they even recently released experimental mosquitos that could spread diseases on our people. The book is written in a way of telling people to "Wake Up and Smell The Coffee." The Afro-Americans in the USA had suffered just as bad as we did through "Separate But Equal." Which means that the USA says we are USA citizens but we don't have the same rights as the White Americans. Funny thing is that Puerto Ricans are also European related just like the Americans. Barnes and Nobles should continue to sell this book since it reveals the truth about the relationship between the USA and Puerto Rico.
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
War against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson A Denis - English version Being born and raised in Puerto Rico this was an amazing expose of US abuse committed against Puerto Ricans. I had learned first hand of the atrocities committed by Dr. Cornelius Rhoads against Puerto Rican citizens and how he had injected cancer and disease to unsuspected patients. My great great grandmother was a witness to the Ponce massacre - an event I read about in her journal since it happened in front of her Ponce house. I did not know about the Rio Piedras massacre, nor was I was aware that Don Luís Muñoz Marín, governor from 1949 to 1966 was blackmailed into submission by J. Edgar Hoover, FBI director. Hoover had "carpetas" (files) on Muñoz drug addiction and infidelities and urged the governor to impose martial law and pass the Gag Law (Ley de la Mordaza) which made illegal to own a Puerto Rican Flag or to speak in favor of Puerto Rican independence. Muñoz even had the town of Jayuyas, PR bombarded by thunderbolt fighter planes on October 28, 1950, to quell a Nationalist insurrection, killing innocent citizens in the process. The book chronicles and exposes all the abuses rendered upon Puerto Ricans by the US government, including torture, incarceration, and denial of simple human rights by the Puerto Rican government against members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party in general and Pedro Albizu Campos in particular. Even though it is clearly presented from the pro - independence point of view, it has enough data that can be easily corroborated to cause alarm of the terrible injustices committed against Puerto Ricans by an invading power. It was a fascinating read. I could not put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very detailed account of events as they evolved over the years since USA's military occupation of the Island in 1898 through and including 1952, approximately. Government corruption, big interests and a mighty military ever known on earth staged a war against analphabetic and uneducated, financially ruined natives until installing a drug addiction as the first elected governor and his betrayal of liberty for the island.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago