Long neglected, Mexican regional political history of the independence and postindependence epoch recently has begun to attract significant attention. Eric Van Young, José Antonio Serrano, Guy Thomson, Jaime del Arenal Fenochio, and Alfredo Ávila recently published books that broke new ground. Jaime E. Rodríguez’s essays on political processes in Oaxaca and on Mexican federalism in Guadalajara during and after independence added significantly to our knowledge of regional political processes. Well known for his book on the state of Guerrero, Peter Guardino now follows up with a pathbreaking study of the complex political culture of Oaxaca. He examines the impact of the Bourbon reforms and the independence epoch, dramatically advancing our understanding of the chaotic period up to the beginning of the Reforma. Guardino centers his research on the city of Antequera, later renamed Oaxaca, and on the heavily indigenous rural jurisdiction of Villa Alta. This approach...

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