The Book

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.

Democracy Now!

Nelson A Denis - Democracy Now


The Takeaway  (WNYC/WGBH) 

Brian Lehrer Show  (WNYC)

NPR Connecticut

Worldview  (WBEZ Chicago)

The Jordan Journal (WBAI – NYC)

Tim Danahey Show    

BlogTalk Radio / Latino Rebels

Boricuas of the World


Democracy Now!

New York 1  (Pura Política Show)—guerra-contra-todos-los-puertorrique-os-.html

New York 1–former-assemblyman-discusses-book—war-against-all-puerto-ricans–revolution-and-terror-in-america-s-colony–.html



ABC TV      


Al Jazeera TV

TIEMPO show on ABC TV (Oct. 11)


New York Times article

New York Times opinion editorial

NY Daily News

Kirkus Reviews   


Latino Rebels

University of Puerto Rico

Publishers Weekly    


Mother Jones


National Journal (column)      

Washington Book Review

El Nuevo Dia (largest newspaper in Puerto Rico)

El Post Antillano

Boston Public Library

Caribbean Business


La Respuesta Media

Long Island Weekly

80 Grados

Political Affairs

Socialist Worker

Sofrito for Your Soul

This “WAR” is Escalating


War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s ColonyBuy it now


25 Comments on “The Book

  1. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” so states the United States Declaration of Independence – but when we sought liberty we were bombed. Life? They have killed millions of babies through abortion since 1973 and have starved the disabled to death (Terri Schiavo). Am I proud to be American? At what expense? At the expense of having my island bombed, of injecting cancer cells in my people, of sterilizing our women because according to them we are an inferior race? Hypocrisy at its best. A day of judgment is coming though. “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14.


  2. I read this riveting book in 2015 and am still buying copies for, and recommending it to, friends and family. It ought to be mandatory reading for US citizens both on the mainland and on the island. The history of blatant institutionalized racism, hate speech and discrimination by the US government and its officials against the people of Puerto Rico as documented in this book is almost unbelievable. Nelson Denis really needs to publish a new edition to include an addendum on how President Trump and his administration have treated the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It fits right in with the rest of the story.


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  4. Wonderfully courageous truth-telling. My summer session Penn State Abington is reading it right now. We begin the discussion tomorrow night. The Penn State library system accidentally delivered the Spanish version of the book that was to be a reserve copy for students who could not afford to buy the book. The speaker I invited who knows much about Puerto Rico directly was denied funding from Penn State, where I am a career-long targeted individual. I teach about revolution, US imperialism, hegemony and utilize a Freirian pedagogy. Denied full professor promotion a few years back and subjected to hostile workplace harrassment for years,-in this ostensible No Place for Hate-am still fighting the good fight. Thank you, Attorney Denis, for your life-long bravery and damn those who have persecuted / terroized your Family and all The people of Puerto Rico who have fougjt for independence. Hasta la victoria siempre! Venceremos!


  5. Pingback: Cowards and Liars, with “Ph.Ds” after their names, try to attack Puerto Rico | WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS

  6. This would make a helluva great movie. I heard about the possible involvement of Luís Guzmán. Great actor. Even if the movie can’t get made in English, wouldn’t be amazing if it could be done in Spanish with great Latino actors? Besides the history , the stories in the book are really cinematic. Nelson, you really made the visual come alive in my mind. I could see the pictures. Buena suerte, Don Nelson.


  7. Ya lo compre y lo lei en en tres noches. Solo espero que Nelson Denis vuelva a Borinquen para que le ponga su firma. excelente trabajo.


    Gracias, Ricardo. Asi sera.



  8. I listened to “War Against All Puerto Ricans” on Audible.Thus is an amazing and important story. Everybody should know the truth of the United States brutal treatment of Puerto Rico. I’m a 64 year old Nuyorican. For some reason my father and mother worshipped Muñóz Marín. My folks came to New York in the late 1920s. I guess they bought into the whole assimilation thing. They never told me about Albizu Campos and they said the Independentistas were a bunch of nuts. I never knew until I was 60 years old, the truth about U.S. Involvement. I started listening to some of Mr. Denis’ interviews on YouTube and what really got me waiting on pins and needles for the audio book to come out was hearing about Muñóz Marín’s addiction to opium. I said to myself, “¿Que que”? I could just imagine my late father turning in his grave. In any event, that blew my mind! The research and the narrative is excellent in Mr. Denis’ book. But the pronunciation by the narrator was just terrible. Wow! When he pronounced Mayaguéz as “My-ah-gez”, I cringed. ¿Qué pasó? Was Benício Del Toro too expensive? There were no Latino narrators available for the gig? I guess the quality control people at Audible were as indifferent as the rest of the American population, as far as Puerto Rico is concerned. It was almost insulting. But the story is so riveting that I had to keep listening. The story is too important and overshadows the laughable narration I wish Nelson Denis would have narrated. He sounds like the guys I grew up with in the Bronx. What a phenomenal thing it was for me to learn about Albizu and Muñóz Marín. And to hear the Massacre of Ponce and the 1950 revolution and the incident in Washington, D.C was almost too painful. I have to say that I’m more than a little upset with my family for hiding the truth. Maybe they didn’t know the truth. Maybe they believed the lies told by the American government and media. Wow!




  10. Pingback: War Against All Puerto Ricans…one year later | WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS

  11. I just finished reading the book and am heartbroken and outraged. I was born in San Juan but my parents relocated to New York when I was a little girl. Growing up I saw and felt the racism against my people. The first time I went to my island I fell in love with it and always wanted to move back. Seventeen years ago I was ready to leave when my trip was interrupted (long story). Right now I am facing some obstacles which are preventing me from going back but am not losing hope that I will live my last days in my beautiful island. For what I see my island has been nothing but a money making machine for a bully. My people, we need to fight back. Thank you so much Mr. Denis for writing this book.


  12. Pingback: 30 Quotes, 25 Cities, and 2 Best Sellers | WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS

  13. My neighbor wanted to read it on spanish now and I’m translating it. This is a lot of work but I got to read it and its AMAZING!!! Can’t wait to buy it for myself.


  14. Pingback: WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony |

  15. Forty years ago I read a book on Don Pedro Albizu Campos, now May 2015 I read the book that Nelson A. Denis wrote, War on all Puerto Ricans. My only wish as it was forty years ago, I wish they would make a movie on Don Pedro Albizu Campos and the plight of the Puerto Rican people. I would definitely see it and buy the video to show my grandkids .when I was in grade school in the sixty’s the only history I learned about Puerto Rico was that they shot people in Washington D.C. , and the rest was whitewashed.Go figure!


  16. para que fecha el libro sera publicado en espanol?… debieron publicarlos los dos simultaneamente.

    –La versión en español se publicará en Noviembre 2015.


  17. Amazon: Book temporarily out of stock. Is there any place in Puerto Rico where you can get it? it is an exclusive Amazon’s distribution? La versión en español debió ser simultánea a la inglesa, por lo relevante y revelador de su contenido.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Quisiera saber si el libro sera publicado tambien en español.


  19. Impresionante! Siempre he amado la “tierra” que vio mis padres nacer y mis puertorriqueños. Gracias por dejarnos saber que U.S. no nos ha hecho ningún favor. Mi admiración a todos esos “nacionalistas” que perdieron sus vidas por la Libertad de Nuestro Porto Rico!


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