Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in Twentieth-Century New York City
  • Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in Twentieth-Century New York City
  • Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in Twentieth-Century New York City

Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in Twentieth-Century New York City

by Lorrin Thomas
     
 

By the end of the 1920s, just ten years after the Jones Act first made them full-fledged Americans, more than 45,000 native Puerto Ricans had left their homes and entered the United States, citizenship papers in hand, forming one of New York City’s most complex and distinctive migrant communities. In Puerto Rican Citizen, Lorrin Thomas for the first

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Overview

By the end of the 1920s, just ten years after the Jones Act first made them full-fledged Americans, more than 45,000 native Puerto Ricans had left their homes and entered the United States, citizenship papers in hand, forming one of New York City’s most complex and distinctive migrant communities. In Puerto Rican Citizen, Lorrin Thomas for the first time unravels the many tensions—historical, racial, political, and economic—that defined the experience of this group of American citizens before and after World War II.

Building its incisive narrative from a wide range of archival sources, interviews, and first-person accounts of Puerto Rican life in New York, this book illuminates the rich history of a group that is still largely invisible to many scholars. At the center of Puerto Rican Citizen are Puerto Ricans’ own formulations about political identity, the responses of activists and ordinary migrants to the failed promises of American citizenship, and their expectations of how the American state should address those failures. Complicating our understanding of the discontents of modern liberalism, of race relations beyond black and white, and of the diverse conceptions of rights and identity in American life, Thomas’s book transforms the way we understand this community’s integral role in shaping our sense of citizenship in twentieth-century America.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226796086
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
06/15/2010
Series:
Historical Studies of Urban America Series
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Puerto Ricans, Citizenship, and Recognition

One New Citizens of New York

Community Organization and Political Culture in the Twenties

Two Confronting Race in the Metropole

Racial Ascription and Racial Discourse during the Depression

Three Pursuing the Promise of the New Deal

Relief and the Politics of Nationalism in the Thirties

Four How to Represent the Postwar Migration

The Liberal Establishment, the Puerto Rican Left, and the “Puerto Rican Problem”

Five How to Study the Postwar Migrant

Social Science, Puerto Ricans, and Social Problems

Six “Juan Q. Citizen,” Aspirantes, and Young Lords

Youth Activism in a New World

Epilogue

From Colonial Citizen to Nuyorican

Notes

Index

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