Torn Between Empires
Economy, Society, and Patterns of Political Thought in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1840–1878

Luis Martínez-Fernández


“The book’s principal strength—and not an inconsiderable one—is its effectiveness and success as an English-language synthesis, bringing together in a highly readable form much of the research advances of the monographic and specialized works of the last ten years. It meets an important need, too, for the middle years of the nineteenth century in the Spanish Caribbean are crucial ones. There exist few works as useful or as comprehensive as this study.”
—Louis A. Pérez Jr.

“Works written with a collective perspective are truly scarce in Caribbean historiography. Even rarer are comparative studies on the histories of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, the three Hispanic Antilles with so many common cultural traits. Therefore, Torn between Empires has the invaluable virtue of originality.”
Journal of American History

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This in-depth, comparative study focuses on the economy, society, and political culture of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Viewing developments as they relate to the countries’ common heritage of insularity, colonialism, and slavery, Luis Martínez-Fernández points out profound, underlying balance-of-power transformations during a time of ostensibly small change in the region’s political status.

Page count: 344 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $29.95

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Luis Martínez-Fernández is a professor of history at the University of Central Florida. His books include Frontiers, Plantations, and Walled Cities: Essays on Society, Culture, and Politics in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1800–1945 and Protestantism and Political Conflict in the Nineteenth-Century Hispanic Caribbean.