To the Editors:

My negative assessment of Ralph Bauer’s annotated translation of Titu Cusi Yupanqui’s account of the conquest of Peru was based on his inability to bridge the gap between the text and his readers in a meaningful, nuanced way, and on the multitude of errors in the book in English usage and grammar (which are too numerous to enumerate here). The first, perhaps, is the most serious. One of the most difficult tasks for any historian is to cross the temporal and cultural divide between our understandings and those of our subjects. Thus, I objected to his definition and uses of the terms encomienda and repartimiento. John Rowe and James Lockhart and some of their students once attributed territorial dimensions to the terms; see, for example, Lockhart’s article “Encomienda and Hacienda: The Evolution of the Great Estate in...

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