People and Issues in Latin American History

This two-volume edition of People and Issues in Latin American History presents a range of sources on and interpretations of important topics in the history of Latin America that enable students to debate the historical significance of individuals and issues. Selections include primary as well as secondary sources and incorporate the work of Latin American, European, and North American scholars. Volumes may be ordered together or separately. 

Volume I: The Colonial Experience

Within these pages students will meet Bartolomé de Las Casas, the stout defender of the indigenous Americans in 16th-century Spanish America, and Antonio Vieira, his 17th-century counterpart in Brazil. They will critically examine Columbus’s role in the Iberian conquest of America, and encounter Isabel Moctezuma, a “pioneer of mestizaje”; Juan Garrido, a black conquistador; Sor Juana de la Cruz, “supreme poet” of the 17th-century Spanish world; Tupac Amaru, the leader of the last Inca rebellion; and the German savant Alexander von Humboldt. Finally, they will read about the nameless men and women — Spanish, Portuguese, indigenous American, and African — whose collective stories make the history of 300 years ago more comprehensible to our contemporary mentalities.

View Table of Contents for Volume I

Volume II: From Independence to the Present

In this volume, special emphasis is given to social history and the analysis of the spectrum of revolutionary change since Bolívar. This edition includes an entirely new section on Hugo Chávez, which also covers the challenges of globalization for Latin America and the current mass appeal of leftist leaders. Expanded and updated suggestions for further reading and viewing are included as well.

View Table of Contents for Volume II


Lewis Hanke, editor, was the author of The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America and numerous other works.

Jane M. Rausch, editor, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is the author of A Tropical Plains Frontier: The Llanos of Colombia (1531–1831). She wrote the introduction to Hernán Horna’s La Indianidad: The Indigenous World Before Latin Americans (also available from Markus Wiener).