War Against All Puerto Ricans tells an undiscovered story: the violent and shocking history, of Puerto Rico–US relations for the past 118 years.
The book traces the life of Pedro Albizu Campos and the Puerto Rican independence movement, which continues on the island to this day.
It is also explosively populated with characters: inspiring revolutionaries and murderous doctors, loyal barbers and faithless politicians, smooth secret agents and crooked cops. J. Edgar Hoover is prominently on display: chasing Nationalists all over the island, jailing hundreds of them, and spying on over 100,000 Puerto Ricans through a secret FBI surveillance program.
The events are dramatic: a 1934 agricultural strike that paralyzed the insular economy for several months, and drew hundreds of FBI agents to the island. A “Ponce Massacre” in which 17 unarmed civilians were shot and killed, and 200 more were wounded, by agents of the US government. A Chief of Police who executed Puerto Ricans in broad daylight, then called a press conference to declare a “War against all Puerto Ricans.”
The culminating action is a little-known Nationalist rebellion in 1950 which spread to eight towns. In order to suppress it the U.S. deployed 5,000 National Guardsmen, arrested 3,000 Puerto Ricans, executed Nationalists in public, and bombed the towns of Jayuya and Utuado – the only time in its history, that the U.S. bombed its own citizens.
Meticulously sourced with over 700 footnotes and dozens of photographs, the book is, in the words of one reviewer, “not just history. It’s history on fire.” It documents how the U.S. government invaded Puerto Rico in 1898 and, for over a century, quietly but systematically drained the island and its inhabitants through exploitation, repression and cultural death.
In the end, War Against All Puerto Ricans is an epic story of brave heroes: men and women of conviction, who devoted every drop of their blood to a people and a principle.
About the Author
Nelson Denis served as a New York State Assemblyman. He was the editorial director of El Diario/La Prensa, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in New York. His editorials for El Diario – over 300 of them – won the “Best Editorial Writing” award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Denis has also written for the New York Daily News, Newsday, and Harvard Political Review.
Denis is also a filmmaker and screenwriter. He wrote and directed the award-winning feature film Vote For Me! which premiered in the Tribeca Film Festival. His screenplays have won awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).
Reviews and Press
The book reviews are all listed on the book’s Amazon page, where you will also see over 180 customer reviews and a “Five Star” customer review rating.
The Takeaway (WNYC/WGBH)
Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC)
Worldview (WBEZ Chicago)
The Jordan Journal (WBAI – NYC)
Tim Danahey Show
BlogTalk Radio / Latino Rebels
Boricuas of the World
New York 1 (Pura Política Show)
New York 1
City & State TV (Part 1)
City & State TV (Part 2)
Al Jazeera TV
TIEMPO show on ABC TV (Oct. 11)
New York Times article
New York Times opinion editorial
NY Daily News
University of Puerto Rico
National Journal (column)
Washington Book Review
El Nuevo Dia (largest newspaper in Puerto Rico)
El Post Antillano
Boston Public Library
La Respuesta Media
Long Island Weekly
Sofrito for Your Soul
This “WAR” is Escalating