Imagining Histories of Colonial Latin America is an innovative book that offers a blueprint on how to conduct historical research. Dedicated to William B. Taylor, the book is inspired by his teachings and includes essays on methodology, primarily on how to write history synoptically. In the introduction, Karen Melvin and Sylvia Sellers-García explain that a synoptic approach seeks to understand the past as a combined whole rather than a compilation of facts. In order to grasp the past, the editors recommend thinking about methodology alongside interpreting and writing; they propose to let the source suggest its method. The chapters in the volume walk the reader through the process of understanding one's sources and discerning the best method to analyze and write about them.

The book is divided in four parts that include seventeen chapters. The chapters are organized according to not historical...

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