The study of criminality and law in Latin America has come a long way since the days of historia del derecho books that represented official laws and constitutions as social reality. This fine collection of 15 essays plus a preface well illustrates the vigor and variety of newer work in the field. It took me seven years, beginning in 1980, to gather and publish a dozen essays on Bandidos: The Varieties of Latin American Banditry. Happily, the study of “crime and punishment” now attracts many scholars, a very welcome change in the profession. A plurality of the authors comes from the profession’s junior ranks, so we get to see some of the latest in ideas, methods, and sources.

Following a brief but helpful preface from Gil Joseph, the book’s introduction, by Carlos Aguirre and Ricardo D. Salvatore, surveys the development of the...

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