- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Nation Books (April 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568585012
- ISBN-13: 978-1568585017
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 468 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in Americas Colony Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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"In searing and well-researched prose, former New York assemblyman and El Diario editorial director Denis covers a much-neglected side of U.S. imperialist and colonial practice in Puerto Rico...The historical account he adeptly weaves unabashedly reveals the government's racist and often predatory actions toward its Caribbean colony...This timely, eye-opening title is as much a must-read as Juan Gonzalez's Harvest of Empire." Shelley Diaz, Library Journal
"Nelson Denis has created a powerful chronicle of the facts, people and events, a heroic history forgotten by many. Denis immediately captures the reader's attention. His book is dramatic, panoramic, and it incites powerful emotions...This book must be read...in order to see the hidden face, the disagreeable reality of the US-Puerto Rico relationship, whose political and cultural consequences are today visible in a disoriented and demoralized nation, incapable of forging a dignified future." Carmen Dolores Hernández, El Nuevo Dia
"War Against All Puerto Ricans was published...to supply the world with the hard truths about the small island's history. Like many other colonized places, specific details about Puerto Rico are swept under rugs and when revealed, they are watered down, whitewashed or, worse, omitted. Denis, however, is of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent; his conviction for the island hits home...War Against All Puerto Ricans, in obvious wake of the island's economic turmoil, is relevant in understanding, full circle, why Puerto Rico is where it is today. The information to learn is hurtful, but eye opening in realizing that even in 2016, plantations still exist." Vibe Magazine
"The writing is terrific...I found the footnotes and notes to be as fascinating and riveting as the narrative...Denis spent many years researching, reading, studying and analyzing, then has distilled a complicated history into a narrative that a general reader can understand and he's skillful in getting readers emotionally involved in the story." Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I was Puerto Rican
"In addition to a ton of data, the book presents photographs of the key events. Denis reviews the relationship between the US and the island, focusing on how the US government used all of its powers to suppress any attempt at independence or Nationalism on the island." Hermes Ayala, Diálogo UPR, University of Puerto Rico
"This book is important...Our history has been stripped from us...There is a war against all Puerto Ricans!" Howard Jordan, WBAI Radio
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
"The response inspired by War Against All Puerto Ricans is visceral: rage, guilt, despair, fear...an indictment of ongoing American policy. Indeed, this book is particularly urgent now. If this electoral season (for president, in the US; for governor, on the island) is to offer anything more than a contest of popular appeal and private funding, this book must play a rolethis is a history of which all candidates should be informed and a present question to which they all must respond." Rain Taxi
A fascinating and vital work At a time when Pedro Albizu Campos and the Puerto Rican revolution have been all but buried by the establishment, this book can make a critical contribution to the cause of Puerto Rico.” Socialist Worker
"A pointed, relentless chronicle of a despicable part of past American foreign policy." Kirkus Reviews
"A must-read...fascinating...This is not a novel, not a Hollywood script. This is actual history." Gerson Borrero, City & State TV
Reveals the true face of American imperialism in its own backyard Denis's meticulous research reveals an often overlooked element of American history and provides context to the current status of Puerto Rico as a U.S. territory.” Publishers Weekly
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
As more than a half century of failed US policy toward Cuba comes to a slow end, Nelson Denis's fascinating new book is a timely reminder of that other island in the Caribbean that the United States took possession of in 1898: Puerto Rico. War Against All Puerto Ricans is a remarkable history of a forgotten national liberation movement and Washington's brutal pacification campaign.” Greg Grandin, professor of history at New York University and author of The Empire of Necessity
"In War Against All Puerto Ricans, Nelson Denis uncovers one of the darkest parts of America's domestic and foreign policy. Unfortunately, the policy continues today and is likely to continue for a long time. Unless we know our past, we can't see where we're going. War Against All Puerto Ricans is a powerful indictment...everyone should read it." Arif Jamal, Washington Book Review
"War Against All Puerto Ricans earns 'instant classic' status. Meticulously sourced...it will leave you mad, outraged, frustrated, incredulous and hopeful. The book will open Puerto Rican history to a new audience, especially the third or fourth-generation English-dominant Puerto Rican audience who thinks being Boricua is just NYC parades and JLO. It will force you to re-think Puerto Rican history." Julio R. Varela, Latino Rebels
"An enlightening and engaging read...a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about Puerto Rico. Denis provides a more detailed account, thanks to exclusive interviews conducted over a span of decades, as well as thousands of public records, including recently de-classified FBI documents." Andre Lee Muñiz, La Respuesta
"War Against All Puerto Ricans is a fascinating read...mind-blowing...women were sterilized, people were tortured, cities were bombed by US planes...A lot of Americans will learn a great deal from reading it. I know I did." Jerome McDonald, WBEZ Worldview
"With War Against All Puerto Ricans, Nelson Denis doesn't just give us history. He gives us history on fire. This is a thoroughly researched indictment of over a century of U.S. policy toward one small island. Here we have a full-throated eulogy of brave heroes, men and women of conviction, who devoted every drop of their blood to a people and a principle...Denis packs 258 pages (plus another 71 pages of notes) with detailed accounts of government corruption, police abuse, Wall Street greed, scientific experimentation, politicking, graft, racism, wholesale slaughter, surveillance, assassinations, eugenics, propaganda, espionage, forgery and falsification all within the span of half a century, and on an island no bigger than Connecticut." Hector Luis Alamo, Gozamos
A meticulous and riveting account of the decades-long clash between the Puerto Rican independence movement, led by Pedro Albizu Campos, and the commonwealth's U.S.-appointed stewards, national police force, the FBI and, ultimately, the U.S. Army" Ray Monell, New York Daily News
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The author is a lawyer and the extensive research confirms that. The United States is on trial here. The evidence is clear, convincing, and deeply organized. Hundreds of FBI documents provide the most shameful proof of all. By the end of the book, the entire US government has been placed on the witness stand, cross-examined, and found guilty of stealing an entire island.
But the deepest impression from this book is the way Denis told an electrifying story. The attempted assassination of Pres. Harry Truman, the Ponce Massacre, the Revolution of 1950, the Gunfight at Salon Boricua, the prison torture of Albizu Campos... all of these tableaus unfolded like a series of dramatic, high-action movie scenes. I could see these scenes playing, right in front of my eyes. My mind reeling as if I were in a time machine being transported to colonial Puerto Rico.
This book would make one hell of a movie. It is based on a history that has never been told. There are 8 million Puerto Ricans and over 55 million Latinos that would eat it up. I could see Benicio Del Toro or Marc Anthony in the role leading role of Don Pedro Albizu Campos. Consider this an open letter to any smart and successful movie producer out there… The next great historical and socio-politically relevant moneymaking story has been tailor-made for you… And what and amazing movie it would make!
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.
There were photos of Albizu Campos on the wall and a blurb about the building's history in the menu. "It's that guy again," we said. We'd been to Ponce the previous week and learned about the massacre (but never did get inside the Massacre Museum -- it was always closed despite advertised hours saying it was open) and our Ponce AirBnB host had told us we should learn about Albizu. The Ponce historical museum mentioned him frequently, but the signage was in Spanish so we didn't quite catch the significance of the story.
So there we were, sitting in Albizu's apartment, looking out of his balcony. I was inspired to order this book, which arrived as we returned home from our trip. It was chilling to read that he looked down from the same balcony to see an arsenal of US guns pointed at him. That same intersection was blocked off for the seige of his apartment ... READ THIS BOOK. And if you can, go visit the apartment.
Now that we know his story, the next time we visit this apartment we'll toast an amazing man who "pulled himself up by his bootstraps" to excel at Harvard and do his shining best for his people.
Update Sept 27 2017: my relatives in San Juan are entreating us on the mainland to send help ... Hurricane Maria has devastated the island full of fellow U.S. citizens ... if you are or know a lineman who can help restore power please help!