In the first half of the twentieth century, intellectuals and politicians in Mexico and the United States dramatically reformed federal policies toward indigenous peoples and the scientific understandings of race that informed that governance. In Mexico, postrevolutionary indigenistas celebrated the achievements of native society and culture while simultaneously seeking the integration of indigenous peoples within the larger nation. In the United States, reformers critiqued the long-standing project of allotment and assimilation in favor of greater autonomy for native peoples, reaching an apex in the “Indian New Deal” of the 1930s. These campaigns overlapped chronologically, and both were led by a cosmopolitan cadre of social scientists who were often in conversation across the border. Yet despite these parallels and intersections, few historians have considered the two together. Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt's fascinating and timely new book argues that one cannot understand US or Mexican...

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