Friedrich Katz is a Professor of Latin American History at Humboldt University in the German Democratic Republic who has specialized in both preconquest and twentieth-century Mexico. His doctoral dissertation on socioeconomic conditions among the Aztecs in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries was published in Berlin in 1956 (reviewed in HAHR, May 1958). The present volume is substantially a translation of that work, with an appended chapter comparing Aztec and Inca societies.

The reviewer of the original edition, Charles Dibble, noted that Katz had failed to take into account recent publications on the Aztecs by Alfonso Caso and others. There is no evidence here that the text and bibliography have been brought up to date, though Katz does note some of the work of the past decade in his preface. This edition will be helpful chiefly for the Latin Americanists who do not know German and who therefore did not read the 1956 edition.