Now in its second edition, The History of Puerto Rico is a richly informed and thoughtful introduction to the Caribbean island and its peoples. Beginning with a cultural history of the island’s earliest inhabitants and placing particular emphasis on the pre-colonial Taino culture, the book explores Puerto Rico’s long history as a colony, first under Spain and then as an unincorporated U.S. territory with varying degrees of autonomy. Going beyond the usual listing of important historical figures and government officials, the author explores how Puerto Rico’s Indigenous peoples and working classes have worked together to survive and maintain their cultures and traditions under colonial rule for more than 500 years. A new section outlines ongoing efforts to determine how, when, or if Puerto Rico will gain statehood or independence, and a revised conclusion examines the most pressing challenges facing the island today. These include income inequality, a debt crisis, and an uncertain future in which Puerto Rico is more vulnerable than ever to climate change and natural disasters.
- Walks students and general readers through the human history of the island
- Seeks out and integrates answers from experts into a narrative designed to address the questions that students and general readers are most likely to have about Puerto Rico
- Reflects the rich cultural diversity of Puerto Rico's multiracial population
- Examines the colonial and ongoing political relationships between Puerto Rico and the Spanish Empire and Puerto Rico and the United States