The Caste War of Yucatán

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Stanford University Press, 2001 - History - 428 pages
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This is the classic account of one of the most dramatic episodes in Mexican history--the revolt of the Maya Indians of Yucatn against their white and mestizo oppressors that began in 1847. Within a year, the Maya rebels had almost succeeded in driving their oppressors from the peninsula; by 1855, when the major battles ended, the war had killed or put to flight almost half of the population of Yucatn. A new religion built around a Speaking Cross supported their independence for over fifty years, and that religion survived the eventual Maya defeat and continues today.

This revised edition is based on further research in the archives and in the field, and draws on the research by a new generation of scholars who have labored since the book's original publication 36 years ago. One of the most significant results of this research is that it has put a human face on much that had heretofore been treated as semi-mythical.

Reviews of the First Edition

"Reed has not only written a fine account of the caste war, he has also given us the first penetrating analysis of the social and economic systems of Yucatn in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."

--American Historical Review

"In this beautifully written history of a little-known struggle between several contending forces in Yucatn, Reed has added an important dimension to anthropological studies in this area."

--American Anthropologist

"Not only is this exciting history (as compelling and dramatic as the best of historical fiction) but it covers events unaccountably neglected by historians. . . . This is a brilliant contribution to history. . . . Don't miss this book."

--Los Angeles Times

"One of the most remarkable books about Latin America to appear in years."

--Hispanic American Report

 

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Contents

The Ladino World
3
The Mazehual World
41
The Caste War
57
Revolt 18471848
59
The Crisis 1848
84
Ladino Recovery 18481849
108
Stalemate 18491850
132
The Coming of the Cross 18501852
146
The Empire of the Cross 18671895
255
Generals Porfirio Diaz and Ignacio Bravo 18791910
279
Francisco May 19121969
307
Yucatan Revisited 19121996
322
Postscript 1959
339
PostPostscript 1997
349
Glossary
365
Maya Political and Religious Leaders
370

A Campaign to End the War 18521855
162
The Speaking Cross
195
Venancio Puc 18551863
197
The Acereto Brigade 1860
220
Coup and Countercoup 18611863
233
An Empire and the Cross 18631866
243
Chronology
374
Notes
379
Bibliography
401
Index
415
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Nelson Reed is an independent scholar who is a longtime student of Yucatecan history and Mississippian archaeology.

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