Puerto Rico Past and Present: An Encyclopedia

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Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1998 - History - 375 pages
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This ready reference guide to more than 500 years of political, social, economic, and cultural development in Puerto Rico fills a conspicuous information gap. It rectifies what has been to date a lack of easily accessible, accurate, and relevant information in English about Puerto Rico and its 3.6 million inhabitants. From African roots to El Yunque (Puerto Rico's tropical rain forest), this encyclopedia offers nearly 300 substantive entries on important people, places, events, social and political issues, legislation, movements and organizations, and terms and concepts. Entries underscore the history, achievements, and creations of the Puerto Rican people. Each entry concludes with a short list of suggested reading for further information. A selection of photos enhances the text.

Included are biographical entries on historical figures and political leaders, as well as poets, novelists, painters, musicians, and artists who have contributed to Puerto Rican culture. Entries on events crucial to the development of Puerto Rico and its relationship to the United States over the last one hundred years, including its political status, will help the reader to understand the complex nature of the ties that bind the United States and Puerto Rico. Also included are entries devoted to individuals or events that have heretofore received little attention in Puerto Rican history, such as the feminism movement. The authors, faculty members at the Center for Caribbean Studies at Central Connecticut State University, are specialists in the history and culture of Puerto Rico. The encyclopedia belongs on the shelves of every school and public library that has ever fielded a question on Puerto Rico.

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About the author (1998)

RONALD FERNANDEZ is Professor of Sociology at Central Connecticut State University. He is author of a number of books, including Prisoners of Colonialism: The Struggle for Justice in Puerto Rico (1994), Cruising the Caribbean: U.S. Influence and Intervention in the Twentieth Century (1994), and Los Macheteros: The Violent Struggle for Puerto Rican Independence (1988).

SERAFÍN MÉNDEZ MÉNDEZ is Associate Professor of Communication at Central Connecticut State University. His research interests lie in the area of health communication, particularly HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico, and in the ways in which American and Puerto Rican cultures interact. His work in the area of Puerto Rican culture is based on the assumption that culture is dynamic and, regardless of the efforts of Puerto Ricans to defend and maintain what they consider to be native culture, bound to change. His contributions to this encyclopedia are the entries on literature, arts, popular culture, and media. A native of Puerto Rico, he has lived and worked in the U.S. for 14 years.

GAIL CUETO is Assistant Professor of Education at Central Connecticut State University. She has worked in the field of teacher education for many years, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses. Her research interests include language learning and bilingual education, as well as curriculum. Her research agenda includes identifying the best means for training teachers who work with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. She has developed a cross-disciplinary project combining classroom instruction and field visits focusing on Puerto Rican culture. Her contributions to this encyclopedia include entries on women who have contributed to Puerto Rican history and culture, language, education, and feminism.

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