Four Square Leagues is a big book in many ways. It is physically big—452 pages—and its goals and aspirations are also broadly conceived. The authors set out to describe and analyze Pueblo land tenure from first contact to today. Their book explains how, despite centuries of squatting and land stealing by non-Pueblo individuals, corporations, and bureaucracies, the communities that survived Spanish conquest have managed to retain control over lands even today.

This, of course, was no easy feat. The strength of this book is that it provides a very detailed explanation of how Pueblo communities were able to retain their land over time. It does so in chronological fashion, so that readers can gain an understanding of, and compare and contrast, the practices that Pueblo communities employed to prevent land loss in the Spanish, Mexican, and post-1848 periods. Case studies of particular...

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