David Begnaud is much more than a journalist. Over the past two years, he has become a gladiator for Puerto Rico.
Ever since Hurricane Maria, Begnaud’s in-depth and on-the-ground reporting from the island have set a new standard for insight, courage, fact-checking, and deep-context journalism. This high standard has been widely recognized: in February 2018, Begnaud received the prestigious George Polk Award for Public Service for his journalism on Puerto Rico.
David Begnaud reporting live from Puerto Rico
Petitions are now circulating in support of Begnaud winning an Emmy Award and a Pulitzer Prize for his journalism on Puerto Rico.
A few weeks ago, War Against All Puerto Ricans came under the David Begnaud microscope. Begnaud recently started a book club, and he made WAAPR one of the first “book club selections.” But he didn’t stop there. Begnaud also aired three podcasts: each containing his own personal review, of several chapters in the book.
HERE ARE THOSE THREE PODCASTS:
In every podcast the detail of Begnaud’s commentary, and his level of textual attention, is striking. This attention is balanced: Begnaud acknowledges certain critics who questioned the book’s accuracy and sourcing (despite its more than 700 footnotes). But more than anything, the attention is laser-sharp.
With a journalist’s instinct for the key word, the telling detail, Begnaud shares his insights on the Ponce Massacre, the Carpetas progam of FBI surveillance, the sterilization of Puerto Rican women, the cancer experiments of Dr. Cornelius Rhodes, the Tydings Independence Bill, the sugar empire of Charles Herbert Allen (the first civilian US governor of Puerto Rico) and the tortured personal life of Luis Muñoz Marín, the island’s first elected governor.
The Begnaud reviews appeared on Instagram and Facebook. They received over 150,000 views and generated thousands of comments. Within two days, the book sold out on Amazon and the publisher had to rush-deliver some more. Clearly, the David Begnaud Book Club is a force to be reckoned with!
Now that Labor Day is winding down, folks are returning from vacation, and Amazon has re-stocked the book, many of us hope that David will complete his fascinating reviews of War Against All Puerto Ricans. With just a few podcasts, he sparked a nationwide discussion of the history of Puerto Rico…and how that history continues to haunt us.
Thank you, David, for sharing our history.
Thank you for helping the US to understand what’s happening: to our island, and to our people.
Thank you for giving new life and meaning, to my grandmother’s words: “Puerto Rican eyes are all dark, with lots of yesterdays in them.”
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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