Over recent decades, historians have revised earlier portrayals of Indians and Afro-Latin Americans as mere “canon fodder” for the elite. Scholars such as Florencia Mallon, George Reid Andrews, and James E. Sanders, among others, argued that not only hunger, patron-client ties, and conscription but also ideas and alliances mobilized subordinate groups. Their military participation, moreover, decisively influenced outcomes such as the enactment of racially egalitarian constitutions, the end of slavery, and the ascendancy of liberalism in much of Latin America. Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin America continues in this same vein while painting an even more paradoxical and multilayered picture of Afro – Latin American and Indian participation in armies and wars.

The book is divided into two thematic parts, each of which spans the years 1850 to 1950. In part 1, Sanders, Justin Wolfe, Aline Helg, Nicola Foote, Richard N....

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