Oral History: Ventriloquism or Privileged Interpretation?

Daniel James, Doña María’s Story: Life History, Memory, and Political Identity, Latin America Otherwise (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000). Imagine you have thirty hours of interviews, nine months of work, more than seven decades of oral history from a privileged witness to the rise of Peronism and the Argentine labor movement…and then you start… Read More Oral History: Ventriloquism or Privileged Interpretation?

Brazil’s Last Slave: The Captive Environment in Pernambuco’s Sugar Fields

Thomas D. Rogers, The Deepest Wounds: A Labor and Environmental History of Sugar in Northeast Brazil (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010). Thomas Rogers’ The Deepest Wounds argues that Pernambuco sugar planters “saw no distinction between land and labor” (8). Enslaved and free workers on cane plantations were demoted in elites’ eyes to… Read More Brazil’s Last Slave: The Captive Environment in Pernambuco’s Sugar Fields

Digging Out of Darkness: Labor, Capital, and the Chilean State in the Age of Mass Society

Pavilack, Jody. Mining for the Nation: The Politics of Chile’s Coal Communities from the Popular Front to the Cold War. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011. When Chile granted literate men over the age of 21 the right to vote in 1925, a new era marked by the rise of mass society… Read More Digging Out of Darkness: Labor, Capital, and the Chilean State in the Age of Mass Society

Black Icarus: Slave Strategies in a Jamaican Hell

Trevor G. Burnard, Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004). Death in the sun-drenched fields or torture in the shade of the house? Resistance or collaboration? How did enslaved Africans cope with the trauma of life on Anglo-Jamaican sugar plantations in… Read More Black Icarus: Slave Strategies in a Jamaican Hell

How the Story Ends: Chronology and Gender in the Tupac Amaru Rebellion

Charles F. Walker, The Tupac Amaru Rebellion (Cambridge, Massachussetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014). Charles Walker left few stones unturned in The Tupac Amaru Rebellion, an impressive analysis of Spain’s largest colonial rebellion. This essay briefly examines two original arguments and two secondary claims made by Walker that help shape our understanding… Read More How the Story Ends: Chronology and Gender in the Tupac Amaru Rebellion