Is Puerto Rico a state? Is it a country? We know that the relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico is… well, it’s complicated. And when we hear words like “territory” and “commonwealth,” it gets even more confusing.

This book by Howard Hills explains the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States, and why that relationship is so complicated.

Citizens without a State

Buy the print book or PDF download. 





  • “…intriguing, informative, and educational…”  – C.K.
  • “A great job explaining a complicated situation…” -D.P.

In this book, written by an expert on the complexities of the relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico and on the court cases that have made it so tangled, you will learn what’s wrong with the current status of Puerto Rico, how it got that way, and what needs to be done now to make things right.

This book is for people in Puerto Rico and people from Puerto Rico, but it is also for all Americans. If you enjoy reading about American history, if you care about human rights, if you are intrigued by the workings of our courts and our government, Citizens without a State is a book you should read.

  • Puerto Rican Identity and American Democracy
  • Consent of the Governed
  • Restoring America’s Anti-Colonial Values
  • Self-determination: An American Tradition
  • National Citizenship in Puerto Rico
  • Advent of “Balzac Citizenship”  for Puerto Rico
  • Sources of U.S. Citizenship Rights
  • “Balzac Citizenship” —an Incomplete Status
  • Curse of the “Happy Imperialist”
  • Restoring Northwest Ordinance
  • Principles For Puerto Rico
  • Afterword: The Prospect Now Before Us
  • A Statehood Primer – History of Statehood: Lessons for Puerto Rico

About the author

Howard L. Hills served in the Executive Office of the President, National Security Council and U.S. Department of State managing legal and diplomatic affairs in support of U.S. foreign policy and national security. He was lead counsel for the Reagan Administration for negotiation, ratification and implementation of political status treaties with Pacific island nations, securing military operating rights essential to President Reagan’s missile defense and nuclear disarmament programs.

Hills also served as lead counsel on territorial status policy in Congress, the federal courts and in U.N. Security Council proceedings. For his service Hills was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Joint Services Commendation Medal. Hills previously also served as a Peace Corps lawyer in the U.S. administered United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Deputy Legal Counsel to the House of Representatives in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Assistant Executive Director of the Guam Legislature’s Law Revision Commission. Hills has been in private legal practice since leaving public service.

Executive Summary (PDF files)

Citizens Without A State – Spanish Summary

Citizens Without A State – English Summary


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