These two books impressively demonstrate the growth in research on and understanding of the history of northern Peru and southern Ecuador during the past two decades. Until recently, the region had appeared in the broader tapestry of the viceregal and national history primarily as the site of coastal sugar plantations and slave populations, and the postemancipation economic and political structures arising from that complex. Now we are beginning to get publications based on serious archival research on diverse areas in the north, from the eastern slopes of the Andes through various highland settings—from Ancachs to Cajamarca and Piura, and Loja and Cuenca in Ecuador—to the variegated coastal valleys and despoblados, and on topics ranging from resistance and identity formation in highland and coastal indigenous communities to fishermen and the aristocratic life styles of the region’s urban elites. What is emerging is an...

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