Deibert, Michael. When the Sky Fell: Hurricane Maria and the United States in Puerto Rico.

AuthorRobles, Johnathan

Deibert, Michael. When the Sky Fell: Hurricane Maria and the United States in Puerto Rico. New York: Apollo, 2019.

When the Sky Fell is the most recent work of Michael Deibert, an American journalist who has written notable books on Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mexico. Deibert's reporting on international affairs has appeared in publications like the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Reuters, among others; he is also a visiting scholar at the Social Sciences Institute of the University of Lisbon in Portugal. Deibert's contribution to the subject of US-Puerto Rico relations is especially valuable, because as a resident of Puerto Rico he provides a familial perspective of both the political and physical environment of the island territory before the disaster caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the fall of 2017.

Typically, books on Puerto Rico written in English are aimed at providing developed facts to an American public that receives its Puerto Rico-related news in sound bites and out of context. However, When the Sky Fell has pieces of Puerto Rican history that even a good portion of Puerto Ricans are not familiar with. This account also benefits people who are interested in knowing more about the history of US-Puerto Rico relations and the recent natural disasters that have plagued the island but prefer a nonpartisan account of the politics involved.

To accomplish his objective of providing historical context to the recent political response to the 2017 hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Deibert provides an earnest yet concise history of the island under US control, highlighting the facts about the lackluster response from the federal government and the predatory nature shown by private industry's interventions in the aftermath of the calamities. With a concise and effective journalistic delivery, When the Sky Fell not only provides not only...

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