This is an important book by one of Central America’s most innovative historians. Molina Jiménez has published 8 books and coedited 16 others. Starting in the mid-1990s, he emerged as one of Central America’s most creative practitioners of the “new cultural history.” His work is greatly influenced by the latter generations of the French Annales school of history. Here Molina addresses the broad theme of the relationship between modern print culture and intellectuals in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicara-gua. He argues that intellectuals and their printed products — from essays in newspapers to books — must be contextualized in the broader cultural history of the region and its distinct national and regional cultural microhistories.

The latter contexts are particularly evident in the evolution of a number of problems in the region’s historiography: print culture, schooling, literacy, the breadth and depth of intellectual circles, the construction of public life, and...

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