Rebecca Carte's trim and elegant book presents an in-depth reading of Baltasar Obregón's account of the 1564 Ibarra expedition, whose stated purpose was to “establish mining settlements in the borderlands of New Spain and to suppress indigenous rebellions in the region” (p. 7). Obregón, the son of an encomendero, played the part of a soldier-explorer in the initial expedition. He sent his account to the Council of the Indies 20 years later to cement his own claims to lead another expedition to the region (p. 8). Though this attempt failed, Carte demonstrates that Obregón's Historia de los descubrimientos de Nueva España (1584) also provides a sophisticated account of the history of New Spain, complete with a vivid approach to what she terms “landscape textualization” (p. 8). In Carte's reading, Obregón's Historia provides an account of the Spanish conquest in which landscape...

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