Fruitful collaboration between El Colegio de Michoacán and the Centre d’Études Mexicaines et Centraméricaines (Cemca) led to a round table in Mexico City on July 21-22, 1986, on movements of population in west-central Mexico. Of the 18 papers published in this volume, one by Jorge Durand deals with routes of migration in general for most of Mexico and one, by Robert McCaa, with migration into Parral as disclosed by population counts in 1777 and 1930. The remainder deal with all or parts of Michoacán. Each paper is followed by a bibliography. Taken as a group, they form enlightening evidence on how much has been done in recent years on Michoacán and on migration from countryside to cities and to the United States.

The one paper on preconquest migration, by Dominique Michelet, discusses archeological soundings by Cemca in the region of Zacapu. Three papers, by Sergio Navarrete Pellicer, Sylvie Lecoin, and Nicole Percheron, deal with population change and migration in the sixteenth century. The one paper entirely on the eighteenth century, by David J. Robinson, analyzes the birthplaces of couples marrying in a sample of Michoacán parishes.

Most of the essays deal with migration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Particularly notable are Thomas Calvo’s examination of how insurgency in the countryside drove population into Zamora during the troubled years after 1810, and Alvaro Ochoa S.’s careful recreation of the role played by arriería in western Michoacán, 1849-1911, before railroads. Women as the adults who remain at home maintaining the family, work and use remittances for family support and investment, and the further later role of women as migrants themselves, are described sympathetically by Gail Mummert. In a joint effort, Thierry Linck and Esteban Barragán analyze settlement in the sierras of western Michoacán as efficient use of a difficult environment through stockraising, cultivation of small plots with long periods of fallow, and small artisanry. The opening of roads has greatly weakened this complex and led to widespread migration. The remaining essays cover single cases of the concentration of power in an ejido and the effects of temporary and eventually permanent migration to the United States in search of better employment. The migrants tend to establish paths, which are then followed by later ones. This is a rich volume.