Thursday, July 26, 2007
Postcard from Puerto Rico
By the time you read this, I will be lying on a beach in Vieques, Puerto Rico -- no longer the site of U.S. bomb and weapon-testing and responsive protests. What's on my summer reading list? In addition to starting Chanrithy Him's When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up under the Khmer Rouge, a well-regarded memoir of a childhood in the "killing fields" and finishing Suketu Mehta's Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, an engrossing non-fiction investigation of modern Mumbai by an emigrant whose criticism is underpinned by his longing for an idealized India (think V.S. Naipaul, only less self-hating), I hope to get to Christina Duffy Burnett's article Untied States: American Expansion and Territorial Deannexation. This piece explores the Insular Cases, a series of early-20th-century U.S. Supreme Court decisions holding that the Constitution did not “follow the flag” to territories annexed by the United States after the Spanish-American War -- relevant not only to my vacation spot of choice but also to current issues in foreign affairs. Wish you were here!