This massively researched and deeply detailed analysis of the transatlantic crisis that broke the Spanish empire and began the long conflicts that led to Mexican independence is a towering achievement, the culmination of the Steins' decades of work, the last of four volumes that lead toward a radical rethinking of the Americas as the eighteenth-century empires fought escalating wars and then faced decades of revolutions—political, social, and industrial. It is impossible to capture the many essential contributions of this volume, not to mention the series, in a short review. I will point to key achievements and challenge my colleagues to take on a long and illuminating read. No one will agree with the Steins on every emphasis or interpretation; all will learn by engaging their unparalleled studies. The resulting conversations will reshape our understanding of the fall of empires and the rise...

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