Remembering the Hacienda is an ethnographic blast from the past. For this reader, at least, it reignited memories, even déjà vu, not just of highland Ecuadorian life but of the ways in which the writing of that life has become densely entangled with the history of social science discourse and with the complicities of ethnographic authority.

The entanglements reach from beginning to end. Making use of the rhetoric of the foreign travel account, the personal diary, the snapshot, and the academic dissertation, the author skillfully employs reflexive interludes as realist literary devices that ground his authority as an ethnographer. The book’s story line begins with Lyons’s early 1980s Peace Corps volunteer service, a “National Geographic experience,” and continues with his marriage into an Ecuadorian family (“my first and most profound lessons in Ecuadorian culture”) and subsequent dissertation fieldwork in the late 1980s...

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