Puerto Rico in the American Century: A History since 1898

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Jun 23, 2009 - History - 448 pages
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Offering a comprehensive overview of Puerto Rico's history and evolution since the installation of U.S. rule, Cesar Ayala and Rafael Bernabe connect the island's economic, political, cultural, and social past. Puerto Rico in the American Century explores Puerto Ricans in the diaspora as well as the island residents, who experience an unusual and daily conundrum: they consider themselves a distinct people but are part of the American political system; they have U.S. citizenship but are not represented in the U.S. Congress; and they live on land that is neither independent nor part of the United States.

Highlighting both well-known and forgotten figures from Puerto Rican history, Ayala and Bernabe discuss a wide range of topics, including literary and cultural debates and social and labor struggles that previous histories have neglected. Although the island's political economy remains dependent on the United States, the authors also discuss Puerto Rico's situation in light of world economies. Ayala and Bernabe argue that the inability of Puerto Rico to shake its colonial legacy reveals the limits of free-market capitalism, a break from which would require a renewal of the long tradition of labor and social activism in Puerto Rico in connection with similar currents in the United States.


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This is another useful book to really understand why puerto ricans are so complex people, wanting to have everything, but also capable of giving their time with no sense of selfishness.


1898Background and Immediate Consequences
Reshaping Puerto Ricos Economy 18981934
Political and Social Struggles in a New Colonial Context 19001930
Americanization and Its Discontents 18981929
Economic Depression and Political Crisis The Turbulent Thirties
Cultural Debates in an Epoch of Crisis National Interpretations in the Thirties
Turning Point in the Forties Rise of the Partido Popular Democrático
Birth of the Estado Libre Asociado
PPD Hegemony Undermined From Mobilization to Recession 19601975
Rethinking the Past Betting on the Future Cultural Debates from the Sixties to the Eighties
Economic Stagnation and Political Deadlock 19761992
Politics and Social Conflict in the Epoch of Neoliberalism 19922004
Neonationalism Postmodernism and Other Debates
Bibliographical Essay

Transformation and Relocation Puerto Ricos Operation Bootstrap
Politics and Culture in the Epoch of PPD Hegemony

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About the author (2009)

Cesar J. Ayala is associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of American Sugar Kingdom: The Plantation Economy of the Spanish Caribbean, 1898-1934.

Rafael Bernabe is professor and director of the Federico de Onis Hispanic Studies Center at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras. He has published three books in Puerto Rico.

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