During the 1950s hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans migrated to New York and joined the city's industrial working class. They joined a growing community of second generation Puerto Rican born in the US since the 1920s. How did these migrants and ethnic Puerto Ricans experience their participation in unions, workplaces and class-based struggles before the explosion of liberal anti-poverty and civil rights struggles of the 1960s? Did they experience a particularly "Puerto Rican" path or did they become part of a larger world of working class New Yorkers?
Aldo Lauria Santiago is a historian of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and U.S. Latinos and specializes in peasant and working class history. His most recent publication To Rise in Darkness (Duke UP), co-authored with Jeffrey Gould (Indiana University), is a history of the 1932 peasant/communist revolt of El Salvador and the traumatic memory of state-sponsored mass murder that followed it and has haunted the country ever since. His earlier An Agrarian Republic (Pittsburgh 1999) traces the social, economic and political history of El Salvador during the nineteenth century. His current research focuses on the regional history of the peasantry in Western Mexico and the history of the Puerto Rican (and other Latino) working class in New York City.