Two bills have been introduced to the US Congress that hope to resolve the contentious status of Puerto Rico. Will either settle the question of annexation to the United States? According to Ausubo Press' latest book about Albizu Campos, what was breached cannot be restored by ill-suited bills.
While the Puerto Rican leader, Pedro Albizu Campos, studied in the United States between 1912 and 1921 his milieu was colored primarily with people, events, and ideas with one thing in common: a free Ireland. During those years much of Irish America was preoccupied with Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain, and Albizu Campos was in the perfect spot—Cambridge, Massachusetts — to immerse himself in the history of the struggling Celtic island and the dreams of her revolutionary patriots. In this brilliant retelling of Albizu's formative years in Harvard and beyond, the author sheds new light on the insurgent education he received from Irish nationalists known as Fenians, and how it seeded the nationalist revolution against the US occupation of Puerto Rico. If you ever wonder why Puerto Rico is not yet a state, this is the book to read.
“The author of the great dream of the Puerto Rican people was Pedro Albizu Campos. He was an extraordinary man, scholar, soldier, statesman . . . From the perspective of the Irish his greatest contribution to humanity was his staunch commitment to the principle of self-determination of people . . . Pedro Albizu Campos’ commitment to self- determination helped to carry the day for the Irish, and the Irish people are forever in his debt.” ––JEROME BOYLE, Brehon Law Society of Illinois
“There are not many who sympathize with the cause of Puerto Rico. Not all those leftists who issue intellectual manifestos and raise their fists in political fronts are prepared to commit themselves to such a cause . . . The case that can be compared with that of the Nationalists of Puerto Rico is that of Ireland. And history knows no more heroic example of desperate struggle through the ages to final victory.” ––JOSÉ VASCONCELOS, author of La raza cósmica
". . . a well written and well documented journey . . . I devoured the book."
–Susanne Ramirez De Arellano, journalist and cultural critic
“Nationalism and independence are messy business, often doomed to failure. Perhaps no communities know this better than the Irish and the Puerto Ricans. And no one was more familiar with that fact than Pedro Albizu Campos, the subject of Aoife Rivera Serrano’s new work which draws the two cultures together. THE QUICKENING OF ALBIZU CAMPOS: HOW FENIANISM GALVANIZED THE LAST AMERICAN LIBERATOR draws a narrative out of a chaotic political landscape that is difficult for contemporary readers to imagine. Yet it is also a poignantly topical story . . . . The struggle in which Campos was engaged, and which Serrano illustrates, is born of an intersection of class, race, religion, and nationalism–all of which are given their due in the work.
It is tempting to silo history into neat categories: Irish, Latin American, Revolutionary. Serrano resists this temptation in favor of the complicated truth. This approach demands greater expertise from historians, bridging multiple fields. It also demands more from readers, making THE QUICKENING OF ALBIZU CAMPOS more at home in a graduate syllabus than an undergrad one. Serrano reminds us of the global perspective, and the on-going work of independence. Latino connections to the Irish revolution are well-remembered in Latin America, but often a footnote in Irish Studies programs. Works like THE QUICKENING are perhaps most valuable as reminders to Irish Studies scholars that Irish-Latino connections were important on both sides of the hyphen. Serrano and others have been working to address the gap in scholarship around these critically neglected connections . . .”
–Dr. Cathal Pratt, Fordham University
Literary Nonfiction. History. Latinx Studies. Irish Studies.
Aoife Rivera Serrano is a literary translator and independent researcher. She is the publisher of two controversial authors: Antonio Pedreira and Anthony McIntyre. With THE QUICKENING OF ALBIZU CAMPOS, Rivera Serrano adds her voice to a series of unique insights that connect two complex countries - Ireland and Puerto Rico.