William Connell’s book traces the evolution of indigenous governance of the parcialidad of Mexico Tenochtitlan, one of two indigenous sectors of colonial Mexico City. He focuses especially on the position of gobernador and discusses how the post developed and changed between the early sixteenth century and the early eighteenth. The book covers the careers of several governors as well as the role of the indigenous cabildo. As a narrative of the evolving indigenous bureaucracy, one based on extensive archival research, the book is highly successful. Readers will find important insights into native political culture in colonial Mexico City. Readers will not, however, learn much about how that political culture fit into broader patterns of indigenous political change within or beyond the Basin of Mexico.

One of the book’s central arguments is that a significant degree of continuity existed between governance of late...

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