Teodoro Moscoso and Puerto Rico's Operation Bootstrap
"Fascinating. . . . [Maldonado's] extensive interviews of Moscoso are unique and help make this a highly original work. . . . He deserves this amount of attention as the man who, next to Luis Muñoz, was the dominant figure in the Puerto Rico renaissance of the 1950s."--Thomas L. Hughes, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
"Maldonado does a superb job in presenting Teodoro Moscoso's role generally and the decisive actions he took at critical junctures in particular."--Rafael de Jesús Toro, dean of business administration, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, and professor of economics, University of Puerto Rico
A. W. Maldonado tells the story of Puerto Rico's extraordinary climb from poverty to economic success. Operation Bootstrap, a program conceived, promoted, and implemented by Teodoro Moscoso (1910-1992), succeeded in attracting worldwide capital investment that by the mid-1950s had transformed the island from an economic backwater into a bustling industrial society. Though much of the credit went to Puerto Rico's governor, Luis Muñoz Marín, Maldonado focuses on Moscoso to describe how and why the economic miracle took place.
Moscoso was deeply involved in all aspects of the Puerto Rican economy and culture, and Maldonado follows his relationships and battles on a number of fronts, from his initial differences with Rexford Tugwell, the last American governor of the island, to conflicts with Governor Muñoz, who was constantly concerned that Moscoso was pushing change too quickly. In the worlds of business and culture, Maldonado shows how Moscoso employed advertising guru David Ogilvy to propagate the image of a people engaged in a cultural renaissance. He also highlights Moscoso's decisive actions at critical junctures (such as his success in pushing tax exemptions and tourism in the late 1940s) and his personal persuasiveness, as with Pablo Casals, who at the age of eighty was persuaded to establish his Casals Festival at San Juan.
Maldonado shows that Moscoso was the architect of the "economic miracle" that economists and presidents believed could not happen in Puerto Rico. His account sheds new light on the man who provided U.S. administrations with a democratic success story to counter the allure of the Cuban revolution and who was called on by President John F. Kennedy to organize and head the Alliance for Progress.
A. W. Maldonado, a journalist in Puerto Rico for 37 years, is a former editor of <i>El Mundo</i> and <i>El Reportero</i> and currently writes a column for the <i> San Juan Star</i>. His articles have appeared in numerous U.S. publications, including the <i> New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, </i> and <i> The Nation. </i>
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