Puerto Rico Freedom and Power in the Caribbean

Puerto Rico Freedom and Power in the Caribbean

Puerto Rico Freedom and Power in the Caribbean

Puerto Rico Freedom and Power in the Caribbean

Excerpt

This book seeks basically to do a number of things, all of them necessarily related inextricably to each other. First, it is an extensive examination of the general experience of Puerto Rican life and thought in all of its manifold and rich variety. Secondly, it seeks to place that experience within the larger framework of the Pan-Caribbean world, a peculiarly neeeded task in the light of the notorious fact that most books published on the island society, having been composed in the main by Americans, have been too easily tempted to see it as a tropical terminus of the American way of life rather than as a threshold to the wider Caribbean and Middle American worlds. Thirdly, the volume, by the very nature of the ideological presuppositions on which it is based, is an essay on Puerto Rico as a continuing neo-colonial society, and therefore on the particular character of the United States as a continuing neo-colonial power within the Caribbean region. Fourthly, and finally, Puerto Rico is here viewed as a prototype, in one way, of the imposing array of the new problems stemming from the mutual confrontation of the developed and the underdeveloped societies in the modern world.

None of these varied aspects, of course, can in any proper sense be treated separately, for they hang together as integral components of the total Puerto Rican socio-cultural picture. It is indeed one of the purposes of the book to counteract, as best it may, the academic specialization which has hitherto confined the scholastic analysis of the island to the grievous limitations of the specialist academic mind coming out of the "research" industry of American universities. One consequence of that fact has been that the society and its people only too frequently have been seen from the perspective of absentee scholarship, as evil in its own way as absentee economic and political control, and not from the perspective of the Creole culture. The risorgi

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