Transcending Conquest presents a set of essays meant to give impetus to debates surrounding the reevaluation of the conquest. Wood wants to reevaluate indigenous sources in order to understand how indigenous people saw invading Europeans and reflected on the conquest, as well as how they saw themselves and their role in history. The author follows a tradition founded by Miguel León-Portilla and Charles Gibson some 40 years ago, continued by James Lockhart, which has led to today’s broadly accepted view of indigenous people as subjects of their history, having their own historical identity, potentiality, and limitations within colonial society.

Nevertheless, there still are some romantics following the eurocentric tradition of Las Casas, who insisted on viewing indios as human beings of childlike innocence and immaturity and against whom Wood arrays these clearly written and vivid essays. Wood employs various sources in her analysis,...

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