The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Hardback)S. Elizabeth Penry (author)
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Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 574 g
Dimensions: 242 x 159 x 21 mm
This meticulously researched and gracefully narrated look at the transformation over time of the public sphere in indigenous communities of highland Bolivia offers readers a remarkable window into how and why the Great Rebellion of the 1780s unfolded by focusing on communities instead of on the leadership. Instead of concentrating on the Native lords that historians commonly document, Penry focuses on how local indigenous councils wrested authority from hereditary rulers, and how they organized using popular festivals and the mails. She shows how Native Andeans created forms of popular sovereignty that evolved over two centuries by combining Spanish forms of institutionalized authority with their own political structures and values into what she calls 'an elaborate synthesis that [led] to revolutionary conclusions.' This is an unusual and exciting second look at the prelude to independence in Spanish America. * Joanne Rappaport, author of The Disappearing Mestizo *
Elizabeth Penry's skillfully crafted study reconstructs the ways colonial Andean comunes or commons became grassroots laboratories where modern ideas of communal self-government and popular sovereignty gradually emerged. Her vivid analysis of village life in the highlands of colonial Charcas over three centuries reveals how commoner-led republics reconciled the ethos of solidarity and mutual obligation of Pre-Columbian kinship groups with Castilian concepts of town government, corporatism, and civic Catholicism, in a synthesis that drew from both traditions but was, in fact, reducible to neither of them. Inscribed in the best traditions of Andean history and ethnohistory, The People Are King is a much-needed contribution to the intricate ways indigenous community politics helped establish the foundations of the modern world. * Jose Carlos de la Puente, author of Andean Cosmopolitans: Seeking Justice and Reward at the Spanish Royal Court *
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