This two-volume study of the politics of ethnicity in Guatemala since independence is ambitious and perhaps magnificent. At least 30 scholars contributed to it, with 10 of them listed on its covers. One of three projects launched by the Centro de Investiga-ciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA) in 1997 and funded by major foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, National Endowment for the Humanities, UNESCO), these volumes examine Guatemalan history from the point of view of anthropology. Asking the question ¿Por qué estamos como estamos?, they look more deeply into the nature of ethnicity in Guatemala. They consider the historic structures that have shaped it and how those structures took form. The sophisticated theory behind their argument is presented compactly and clearly (1:25 – 33). The authors seek to contribute to a new Guatemala in which ethnicity is profoundly examined and transparent.

Volume 1 reviews the...

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