Potosi, Volume 27: The Silver City That Changed the World


Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.0 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Kris Lane holds the France V. Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History at Tulane University. He is author of Colour of Paradise: The Emerald in the Age of Gunpowder Empires, Quito 1599: City and Colony in Transition, and Pillaging the Empire: Global Piracy on the High Seas, 1500-1750.


"Covering the period from the discovery of silver until 1825, he uses personal stories gleaned from original sources to produce a rich and lively account that shows how elite merchants, officials and mine owners rubbed shoulders with African slaves, native residents and migrants. . . . As this beautifully written book shows, the costs and benefits of globalisation are not confined to their historical moment."--History Today
"...Lane deserves credit not only for assembling so much old and new information into a convenient form, but also for reminding us that cities have a life of their own, regardless of their national or transnational importance. . . . As he writes in his preface, the aim of his book is to 'balance the local and the global by treating Potosi--city and mountain, mines and countryside--as an example of early modern global urbanism and extraction in action.' In this he succeeds admirably."--New York Review of Books
"Lane builds his analysis from fragments: notarial records and other archival documents that are both amazingly rich and rather ill-suited to crafting a narrative driven by particular individuals or families. . . . by dividing each chapter into a handful of very short sections (some no more than a page long), he gives readers a sense of how historical research feels and leaves it to us to piece a fuller story together." --Times Literary Supplement
"Rollicking is not a term normally applied to books from an academic press, and it is perhaps an exaggeration, but only a slight one, to use it here. Lane includes technical, mineralogical, chemical, historical and other background, but his focus is on the stories, la comédie humaine, that played out in Potosí during the two and three-quarter centuries between the discovery of silver and Simón Bolívar's declaration of independence delivered from the Cerro Rico's peak."--Asian Review of Books