Puerto Rico, a Spanish-speaking territory of the United States, has a history shaped by conquest and resistance. For centuries, Puerto Ricans have crafted and negotiated complex ideas about nationhood. Historian Jorell Meléndez-Badillo offers a new history of Puerto Rico, providing a lens through which to understand the political, economic, and social challenges confronting its people.
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 its establishment as a commonwealth in 1952. He also discusses the contemporary period and the intertwined—though unequal—histories of Puerto Rico and the continental United States.
Meléndez-Badillo is an assistant professor of Latin American and Caribbean history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
His book Puerto Rico: A National History (Princeton University Press) is available for purchase.
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