Puerto Rico: A National History

A panoramic history of Puerto Rico from pre-Columbian times to today


Published (US):
Apr 2, 2024
Published (UK):
May 28, 2024
6.13 x 9.25 in.
16 b/w illus.
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Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking territory of the United States with a history shaped by conquest and resistance. For centuries, Puerto Ricans have crafted and negotiated complex ideas about nationhood. Jorell Meléndez-Badillo provides a new history of Puerto Rico that gives voice to the archipelago’s people while offering a lens through which to understand the political, economic, and social challenges confronting them today.

In this masterful work of scholarship, Meléndez-Badillo sheds light on the vibrant cultures of the archipelago in the centuries before the arrival of Columbus and captures the full sweep of Puerto Rico’s turbulent history in the centuries that followed, from the first indigenous insurrection against colonial rule in 1511—led by the powerful chieftain Agüeybaná II—to the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1952. He deftly portrays the contemporary period and the intertwined though unequal histories of the archipelago and the continental United States.

Puerto Rico is an engaging, sometimes personal, and consistently surprising history of colonialism, revolt, and the creation of a national identity, offering new perspectives not only on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean but on the United States and the Atlantic world more broadly.

Available in Spanish from our partners at Grupo Planeta

Ideas Podcast: Puerto Rico

Jorell Meléndez-Badillo on Puerto Rico: A National History

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