To their credit, many military historians of late have opened useful conversations with social and cultural history. Alejandro Martin Rabinovich continues this innovative work in La société guerrière. As Rabinovich reminds his readers, militaries were primarily social institutions: the sociopolitical context affected how military practices and institutions took form, and these practices and institutions in turn affected long-term and large-scale sociopolitical developments. This analytical approach is particularly innovative when applied to the Río de la Plata during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Rabinovich thus takes up issues of state formation as a social process, but he does so without abandoning military history concerns. He remains preoccupied with military organization and battlefield actions while assessing their ties to imperial breakdown, frontier society dynamics, and, crucially, postcolonial state sovereignties. In this regard, the author embraces a critical interpretive perspective developed in...

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