When the Sky Fell: Hurricane Maria and the United States in Puerto Rico

Apollo. Sept. 2019. 216p. maps. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781948062367. $24.99. HIST
Following the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, journalist Deibert traveled to the islands to investigate the controversial, and underwhelming, aid efforts by the U.S. government. His account of the weeks and months following September 2017, when the hurricane hit, accompany a thoroughly researched history of Puerto Rico, both presented with the goal of helping readers better understand the ongoing impact of colonialism, and how the U.S. mainland responded to the hurricane’s impact. Deibert begins by explaining the first European colonization led by Christopher Columbus. He then journeys through the region’s complex shifts in power, revolutions, and natural disasters. This historical background takes up a significant portion of the book, with the final chapters touching on the relationship between the mainland and Puerto Rico, as it relates to the federal response to the hurricane.
VERDICT Recommended for teen and adult readers interested in Puerto Rican history and the effects of colonialism, which continue to impact the present day.

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