Tropical Zion General Trujillo, FDR, and the Jews of Sos�a

ISBN-10: 0822344076

ISBN-13: 9780822344070

Edition: 2009

Authors: Allen Wells

List price: $25.99
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Seven hundred and fifty Jewish refugees fled Nazi Germany and founded the agricultural settlement of Sosuacute;a in the Dominican Republic, then ruled by one of Latin America's most repressive dictators, General Rafael Trujillo. InTropical Zion, Allen Wells, a distinguished historian and the son of a Sosuacute;a settler, tells the compelling story of that dictator, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and those fortunate pioneers who founded a successful employee-owned dairy cooperative on the north shore of the island. Why did a dictator admit these desperate refugees when so few nations would accept those fleeing fascism? Eager to mollify international critics after his army had massacred 15,000 unarmed Haitians, Trujillo sent representatives to Eacute;vian, France in July, 1938 for a conference on refugees from Nazism. Proposed by FDR to deflect criticism from his administration's restrictive immigration policies, the Eacute;vian Conference proved an abject failure. The Dominican Republic was the only nation that agreed to open its doors. Obsessed with stemming the tide of Haitian migration across his nation's border, the opportunistic Trujillo sought to "whiten" the Dominican populace, welcoming Jewish refugees who were themselves subject to racist scorn in Europe. The Roosevelt administration sanctioned the Sosuacute;a colony. Since the United States did not accept Jewish refugees in significant numbers, it encouraged Latin America to do so. That prodding, paired with FDR's overriding preoccupation with fighting fascism, strengthened U.S. relations with Latin American dictatorships for decades to come. Meanwhile, as Jewish organizations worked to get Jews out of Europe, discussions about the fate of worldwide Jewry exposed fault lines between Zionists and Non-Zionists. Throughout his discussion of these broad dynamics, Wells weaves vivid narratives about the founding of Sosuacute;a, the original settlers and their families, and the life of the unconventional beach-front colony.
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Book details

List price: $25.99
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 1/12/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.848
Language: English

Steven C. Topik is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine.Allen Wells is Roger Howell, Jr., Professor of History at Bowdoin College.

The Refugees' Plight
"Our Ethnic Problem"
Think Big
Jewish Farmers
Converging Interests
"The Eyes of the World Are on the Dominican Republic"
One Good Turn
Lives in the Balance
Playing God
Growing Pains
First Impressions
Flawed Vision
Trial and Error
Middle Age
The Man Who Saved Souls
A "Splendid President"
Golden Years
"The Beginning of the End"
Ravages of Aging
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