Courage Tastes of Blood: Florencia Mallon

Florencia Mallon’s 2005 book, Courage Tastes of Blood: The Mapuche Community of Nicolás Ailío and the Chilean State, 1906-2001, examines the history of a Mapuche indigenous community in southern Chile, focusing on their defense of land and culture in the face of State colonization from 1906 to 2001. Her monograph places archival documents in dialogue… Read More Courage Tastes of Blood: Florencia Mallon

To Die in This Way: Jeffrey Gould

Jeffrey Gould’s monograph, To Die in This Way (1998), looks at the dialectic relationship between indigenous identity and the formation of the nation-state in Nicaragua from the late nineteenth century until the mid twentieth. Gould challenges the “myth of mestizaje” that holds that, except for the Miskito coast, the Central American nation is an ethnically-homogeneous… Read More To Die in This Way: Jeffrey Gould

With Broadax and Firebrand: Warren Dean

Warren Dean’s With Broadax and Firebrand is a history of the destructive impact of human activity on the Atlantic forests of Brazil. Chronicling social attitudes towards nature and the impact of those attitudes on the forests from pre-Columbian times to the present, he highlights the ultimately unproductive exploitation of Brazilian natural resources, which left the… Read More With Broadax and Firebrand: Warren Dean

Changing Fortunes: Karl Zimmerer

Karl Zimmerer’s Changing Fortunes: Biodiversity and Peasant Livelihood in the Peruvian Andes looks at agriculture systems and species biodiversity in the Peruvian Andes in the late twentieth century. Focusing on an indigenous community in Paucartambo region, near Cuzco, the author explores the divergent fortunes of different communities in this area as they adapted to changing… Read More Changing Fortunes: Karl Zimmerer

Oppressed But Not Defeated: Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui

Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui’s Oppressed but Not Defeated, on the struggles of Aymara and Quechua peasants in the highlands and western valleys of the Bolivian Andes, focuses on the creation of peasant unions after the 1952 revolution by the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario. Her book is a concise collection of essays written in collaboration with Bolivian peasant… Read More Oppressed But Not Defeated: Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui

The Agrarian Question and the Peasant Movement in Colombia: Léon Zamosc

Sociologist Léon Zamosc’s The Agrarian Question and the Peasant Movement in Colombia, looks at the development of agrarian capitalism and peasant land struggles in Colombia between 1967 and 1981. In ten concise chapters, Zamosc analyzes differences in agrarian strategies, changes in peasant-state relations, and what he calls the politics and ideology of the “peasant challenge,”… Read More The Agrarian Question and the Peasant Movement in Colombia: Léon Zamosc

Peasant Cooperatives and Political Change in Peru: Cynthia McClintock

Cynthia McClintock’s monograph, Peasant Cooperatives and Political Change in Peru, looks at the social and political effect of the agrarian reforms of the Velasco administration between 1968 to 1975. Focusing closely on the 1969 hacienda expropriations and subsequent implementation of self-managing agrarian cooperatives, McClintock uses a series of social surveys, carried out by Cornell University… Read More Peasant Cooperatives and Political Change in Peru: Cynthia McClintock

Andean Rural Proletarians: Thomas Greaves

Anthropologist Thomas Greaves’ 1972 article, “The Andean Rural Proletarians” examined the critical role played by labor syndicates in the organization of regional peasant movements in the Ecuadorian highlands during the twentieth century. Greaves applies Sidney Mintz’s concept of the “rural proletarian” to the Andes to narrow what was then thought to constitute the so-called peasant… Read More Andean Rural Proletarians: Thomas Greaves

The Rise of Peasant Unions on Traditional Ecuadorian Haciendas: Muriel Crespi

Anthropologist Muriel Crespi’s 1971 article, “Changing Power Relations: The Rise of Peasant Unions on Traditional Ecuadorian Haciendas,” explored the disruptive consequences of agrarian capitalism on rural authority structures in the mid-twentieth century. Focusing on the expropriation of Church-owned haciendas and the rise of Marxist-inspired peasant unions in the Ecuadorian highlands near Cayambe, Crespi argued that… Read More The Rise of Peasant Unions on Traditional Ecuadorian Haciendas: Muriel Crespi