Modern dominicanidad: nation-building and politics of exclusion in Santo Domingo since the 1880s
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A tale of two cities: Santo Domingo and New York after 1950.
By Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008, 352 pp)
Nation and citizen in the Dominican Republic, 1880–1916.
By Teresita Martínez-Vergne (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2005, 256 pp)
Between 1930 and 1961, the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo took firm control of nation-building in the Dominican Republic. During this period he mobilized state historians, government departments, and the media to distance dominicanidad [Dominicanness] from Africa and orient it towards Europe. Trujillo’s regime defined the national color as indio [Indian] and disseminated a racist discourse of antihaitianismo[anti-Haitianism] to posit the nation as civilized and modern in opposition to Haiti’s poverty and primitivism. Santo Domingo, renamed Ciudad Trujillo, was the primary site for the objectification of national identity. Under Trujillo’s authority, inner-city slums were cleared to...
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