In his study of Chile's southern frontier, Thomas Klubock weaves together story lines about forest transformation and rural social relations. He tracks the emergence of forestry science, the assertion of sovereignty claims and the litigation of land rights, the relationships between a modernizing state and indigenous citizens, shifting labor regimes and new forms of exploitation, and the trajectories of environmentalist discourse. La Frontera brings a great deal to the table; individual chapters provide enough fodder for a week's seminar meeting. Undergraduates might feel overwhelmed, but as that list of themes indicates, they will find in the book many crucial features of the long twentieth century in Latin America as a whole. With Klubock's telling, we have new ways to understand how Chile experienced those processes.

The reach of Mapuche groups' control and the frailty of the state's presence defined the “frontier” of...

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