Christon Archer notes in the preface to his book that the independence period has been attracting renewed attention in recent years, tied in part to the approaching bicentennial of major events. His collection of articles is a useful addition to that reanalysis. In keeping with his particular interests, he has chosen as the focus of his book “the military side of the wars and the nature of insurgency, rebellion, and counterinsurgency”(p. xii). He has put together a stimulating mix of primary and secondary materials, dividing them into four sections, namely, the origins of the wars, the situation in New Spain, the developments in South America, and the “defeat of Spain” (not the victory of the Americans). Some of the pieces he has chosen will be familiar to many readers, as they include articles and sections of books by Brian Hamnett on insurgency in...

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