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Book Review: “Rethinking the Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights”

Historians and Rutgers University Professors Dr. Lorrin Thomas and Dr. Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago collaborated in writing, “Rethinking the Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights” (Routledge, 2018), a survey of Puerto Ricans’ civil rights activism in the U.S. since the 1940s. In it they explore Puerto Rican activism within the broader context of the civil rights movements.

Dr. Jorge Duany, Director of the Cuban Research Institute and Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University has recently written a compelling book review of “Rethinking the Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights,” in the journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies.

In it he writes,

Thomas and Lauria-Santiago have written a straightforward and illuminating chronicle of the Puerto Rican experience in the United States, highlighting their numerous efforts to resist exclusion, inequality, and marginalization. The authors rightly underscore ‘the vibrancy of Puerto Ricans’ struggle for civil rights and recognition in the United States’ (p. 157). They thereby offer a welcome corrective to the all-too-common caricature of stateside Puerto Ricans as passive victims of colonialism, racism, deindustrialization, and globalization. In Thomas and Lauria-Santiago’s alternative narrative, Puerto Rican migrants and their descendants largely emerge as complex agents of their own destinies, albeit constrained by difficult socioeconomic circumstances, such as high poverty and unemployment rates.

To read the review in its entirety, follow this link to the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies site: