Intermarriage between Europeans and Natives was not an uncommon sight across the colonial Americas, as Sean F. McEnroe shows in his lively exploration of Indigenous elites within post-Conquest societies. Beyond these literal marriages, however, the broader metaphor of the troubled or unequal marriage works in this book in two central ways. On a surface level, it refers to the “marriage of cultures and continents” that the lives and families of Indigenous elite individuals came to embody and on which their position as brokers of all sorts came to depend, from Canada down to Chile (164). On a deeper level, it refers to their role in the production of the colonial order, alongside European settlers and empires eager to expand and consolidate their New World possessions. Some of the best pages in this intercontinental tale of opportunities lost and fulfilled recount the roles of Indigenous “co-conquerors” and “co-colonists” who spearheaded the...
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Book Review| July 01 2022
A Troubled Marriage: Indigenous Elites of the Colonial Americas
A Troubled Marriage: Indigenous Elites of the Colonial Americas. By Sean F. McEnroe. (
University of New Mexico Press,
2020. xxviii + 352 pp., acknowledgments, introduction, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95 paperback.)
José Carlos de la Puente Luna
Ethnohistory (2022) 69 (3): 360–361.
José Carlos de la Puente Luna; A Troubled Marriage: Indigenous Elites of the Colonial Americas. Ethnohistory 1 July 2022; 69 (3): 360–361. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-9706055
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