cover of book

The "Puerto Rican Problem" in Postwar New York City
by Edgardo Meléndez
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-1-9788-3147-6 | Paper: 978-1-9788-3146-9 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-3148-3
Library of Congress Classification F128.9.P85M453 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.868729507474

The "Puerto-Rican Problem" in Postwar New York City presents the first comprehensive examination of the emergence, evolution, and consequences of the “Puerto Rican problem” campaign and narrative in New York City from 1945 to 1960. This notion originated in an intense public campaign that arose in reaction to the entry of Puerto Rican migrants to the city after 1945. The “problem” narrative influenced their incorporation in New York City and other regions of the United States where they settled. The anti-Puerto Rican campaign led to the formulation of public policies by the governments of Puerto Rico and New York City seeking to ease their incorporation in the city. Notions intrinsic to this narrative later entered American academia (like the “culture of poverty”) and American popular culture (e.g., West Side Story), which reproduced many of the stereotypes associated with Puerto Ricans at that time and shaped the way in which Puerto Ricans were studied and perceived by Americans.
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