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Concrete and Countryside: The Urban and the Rural in 1950s Puerto Rican Culture

Carmelo Esterrich

ISBN 10: 0822965399 / ISBN 13: 9780822965398
Published by University of Pittsburgh Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Concrete and Countryside: The Urban and the ...

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press

Binding: Paperback / softback

Book Condition: New

About this title


From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, Puerto Rico was swept by a wave of modernization, transforming the island from a predominantly rural society to an unquestionably urban one. A curious paradox ensued, however. While the island underwent rapid urbanization, and the rhetoric of economic development reigned over official discourses, the newly installed insular government, along with some academic circles and radio and television media, constructed, promoted, and sponsored a narrative of Puerto Rican culture based on rural subjects, practices, and spaces. By examining a wide range of cultural texts, but focusing on the film production of the Division of Community Education, the popular dance music of Cortijo y su combo, and the literary texts of Jose Luis Gonzalez and Rene Marques, Concrete and Countryside offers an in-depth analysis of how Puerto Ricans responded to this transformative period. It also shows how the arts used a battery of images of the urban and the rural to understand, negotiate, and critique the innumerable changes taking place on the island.


"A timely project, well conceived and executed. General readers as well as specialists will be able to navigate this text."
--Jason Cortes, Rutgers University-Newark

"Concrete and Countryside represents a valuable, much-welcomed intervention and contribution to cultural studies, Latin American and Caribbean studies, Puerto Rican studies, and literary studies in general. Esterrich's work is theoretically and methodologically sound."
--Agustin Lao-Montes, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
"A fantastic snapshot of midcentury Puerto Rican culture. It will be of interest to those who want to learn more about Puerto Rico in Latin American context of twentieth-century modernization, and anyone more broadly interested in cultural responses to global trends of migration and urbanization."
--H-Net Reviews

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