In the historiography of Native slavery in the Americas, no book has been simultaneously as significant and as overlooked as John M. Monteiro’s Negros da terra: Índios e bandeirantes nas origens de São Paulo. Published in 1994 to wide acclaim in Brazil, Negros da terra was one of the earliest books about the enslavement of Indigenous Americans, anticipating the surge of interest among US scholars that has transformed our understanding of Native North America and the broader history of slavery. With their superb translation and contextualization of Monteiro’s work into English, published as Blacks of the Land: Indian Slavery, Settler Society, and the Portuguese Colonial Enterprise in South America, James Woodard and Barbara Weinstein have done a great service.

Blacks of the Land examines the history of Native slavery in São Paulo from its rise in the mid-sixteenth century through...

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