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Ed Morales: Fantasy Island

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The tragedy of US involvement in Puerto Rico, tracing the decades of economic and political exploitation that led to the debt crisis, hobbled the hurricane recovery efforts, and forced the island into a state of despair.

For the last century, Puerto Rico has served as a testing ground for the most aggressive and exploitative U.S. economic, political, and social policies. The devastation was laid bare by Hurricane María in 2017, which exposed how the island as a whole was deteriorating, and the merciless path of destruction created by the island's debt crisis could no longer be covered up.

In Fantasy Island, journalist Ed Morales uncovers the roots of the crisis. The island has been a colonial satellite, a dumping ground for U.S. manufactured goods, a tax shelter, and now a blank canvas for disaster capitalism on the frontlines of climate change. The suffering and struggle of Puerto Ricans is colossal evidence of the colonial wound the U.S. has inflicted on much of Latin America, and a nagging harbinger of the potential fate of the rest of the United States.

Morales takes readers from San Juan to New York City and back, showing us both the machinations of financial leaders and politicians in the U.S. and the resistance efforts of activists in Puerto Rico. The fate of Puerto Rico depends on how it survives the critical years ahead, and Fantasy Island is a necessary account of the forces that brought the island to its knees.

Ed Morales is a journalist who has investigated New York City electoral politics, police brutality, street gangs, grassroots activists, and the Latino arts and music scene. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Miami Herald, San Francisco Examiner, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Jacobin, and The Nation. Morales has also appeared on CNN, Hispanics Today, Urban Latino, HBO Latino, CNN Español, WNBC-TV's Visiones, WABC's Tiempo, BBC television and radio, and the Fox Morning News in Washington D.C. He has lectured at Bowdoin College, Vanderbilt University, University of New Mexico, West Chester College in Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Hunter College, Wooster College of Ohio, NYU, and the University of Connecticut. Ed Morales is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, and occasionally appears as a host on WBAI-FM. He lives in New York City.

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