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


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.

Año: 2016 | Páginas: 400

Nation Books

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Jose M. Ortiz III
This book changed my life

I’m a young Puerto Rican American that grew up stateside my entire life. I was never told of any of the people or events in this book, as a matter of fact I never even knew that there was such a thing as a Puerto Rican intellectual like Pedro Albizu Campos. I feel like my history has been hidden from me, and what a sad history it was. While reading this book I would ask my friends and family about the people and events. Not even my two grandfathers could recall events in their own country that happened 10 years before their birth to 10 years after. That is the caliber of how hidden much of this information has been kept. It was truly heartbreaking. And after all of this Puerto Rico is still in a sad state, with no clear path towards an ideal situation for the people who never had a chance to decide their own fate. I’ve begun sharing this book with friends and family, because while there is no happy ending that I could find in this book, we shouldn’t forget that Puerto Rico and more importantly Puerto Rican people’s story, is far from over.

it reads like a police blotter

This is sharply written, well-documented, and UNKNOWN history. I wasn't aware that all this happened in Puerto Rico!

The book reminds me of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and Gulag Archipelago...it reads like a police blotter, with the entire island as a crime scene.

A lot of people are going to re-set their moral compass, and re-think their views about "Puerto Rican history" when they read this book.

Bombing two towns in broad daylight...arresting 3,000 Puerto Ricans...jailing and torturing hundreds of them...killing and maiming over 200 of them on Palm Sunday...keeping secret FBI files on over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND Puerto Ricans...arresting anyone who owned a Puerto Rican flag, or sang the national anthem...

This stuff is incredible! Yet it all happened, right under our noses, in broad daylight.

What a strange thing for the USA, the "leader of the free world," to do this to an entire island - with millions of people on it.

I have to salute WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS, for bringing it out into the open.

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