on January 21, 2003
I am the grandchild of a Puerto Rican woman who lived on the island about the time this book was written. I was absolutely fascinated by the book and found it explained a lot about attitudes toward race and sexuality that prevailed in my own family that I'd always found contradictory and inexplicable.
I generally avoid books written by academicians because their writing style is usually turgid, wordy and devoid of life. Not so this book. While it does carefully document its subject, the writing is lively and engaging.
A must-read for anyone who wants insight into a fascinating aspect of Puerto Rican culture.
on May 15, 2000
Well researched and engaged with the scholarly discussion, yet readable and at times very elegantly argued. The book contributes to discussions of race and sexuality and should be of interest to many more than the few academics in Latin American history and women's studies. Those people, and many others interested in those and related fields, however, MUST read it!
on February 26, 2014
I bought this book because both sides of my family are from Puerto Rico. I grew up in NY & grew up learning little about the history there. This book was so great. It talks lots about what women's lives were like, primarily living in Ponce. It offers various examples of real cases that involved prostitution, spouse physical abuse, life of working class women as well as upper class, the effects the US had once they colonized Puerto Rico & introduced divorce as well as more job opportunities & political rights that Spain forbid. it was really informative but in a pleasing way. I enjoyed it & recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about PR's roots & the 1900's women's history on the island.
on February 29, 2016
Studying Puerto Rican history can be quite a challenge when there are minimal books on the subject. However, thanks to Eileen Suarez and Luis Figueroa (Sugar, Slavery and Freedom) the history of Puerto Rico comes alive in a rich and historic narrative. I especially enjoy the book's concentration on Ponce the birthplace of my maternal grandmother. This book is a must for serious students of Puerto Rican history.