Book cover of Collision of Worlds: A Deep History of the Fall of Aztec Mexico and the Forging of New Spain by David Carballo
Americas

Collision of Worlds: A Deep History of the Fall of Aztec Mexico and the Forging of New Spain

Mexico of five centuries ago was witness to one of the most momentous encounters between human societies, when a group of Spaniards led by Hernando Cortés joined forces with tens of thousands of Mesoamerican allies to topple the mighty Aztec Empire. It served as a template for the forging of much of Latin America and initiated the globalized world we inhabit today. The violent clash that culminated in the Aztec-Spanish war of 1519-21 and the new colonial order it created were millennia in the making, entwining the previously independent cultural developments of both sides of the Atlantic. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Good Assassin: How a Mossad Agent and a Band of Survivors Hunted Down the Butcher of Latvia by Stephan Talty
Americas

The Good Assassin: How a Mossad Agent and a Band of Survivors Hunted Down the Butcher of Latvia

The untold story of an Israeli spy’s epic journey to bring the notorious Butcher of Latvia to justice—a case that altered the fates of all ex-Nazis.

Before World War II, Herbert Cukurs was a famous figure in his small Latvian city, the “Charles Lindbergh of his country”. But he was soon better known as the Butcher of Latvia, a man who murdered some thirty thousand Jews […Learn More]

Book cover of Exquisite Slaves: Race, Clothing, and Status in Colonial Lima by Tamara J. Walker
Americas

Exquisite Slaves: Race, Clothing, and Status in Colonial Lima

In Exquisite Slaves, Tamara J. Walker examines how slaves used elegant clothing as a language for expressing attitudes about gender and status in the wealthy urban center of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Lima, Peru. Drawing on traditional historical research methods, visual studies, feminist theory, and material culture scholarship, Walker argues that clothing was an emblem of not only the reach but also the limits of slaveholders’ power and racial domination. […Learn More]

Book cover of Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic by Erika Denise Edwards
Americas

Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic

Details how African-descended women’s societal, marital, and sexual decisions forever reshaped the racial makeup of Argentina

Argentina promotes itself as a country of European immigrants. This makes it an exception to other Latin American countries, which embrace a more mixed—African, Indian, European—heritage. Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic traces the origins of what some white Argentines mischaracterize as a “black disappearance” by delving into the intimate lives of black women and explaining how they contributed to the making of a “white” Argentina. […Learn More]

Book cover of Potosi: The Silver City That Changed the World by Kris Lane
Americas

Potosí: The Silver City That Changed the World

In 1545, a native Andean prospector hit pay dirt on a desolate red mountain in highland Bolivia. There followed the world’s greatest silver bonanza, making the Cerro Rico, or “Rich Hill,” and the Imperial Villa of Potosí instant legends, famous from Istanbul to Beijing. The Cerro Rico alone provided over half of the world’s silver for a century, and even in decline, it remained the single richest source on Earth.

Potosí is the first interpretive history of the fabled mining city’s rise and fall. From Potosí’s startling emergence in the sixteenth century to its collapse in the nineteenth, Kris Lane tells the story of global economic transformation and the environmental and social impact of rampant colonial exploitation. […Learn More]

Book cover of Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast by Marjoleine Kars
Americas

Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast

A breathtakingly original work of history that uncovers a massive enslaved persons’ revolt that almost changed the face of the Americas

On Sunday, February 27, 1763, thousands of slaves in the Dutch colony of Berbice—in present-day Guyana—launched a massive rebellion which came amazingly close to succeeding. Surrounded by jungle and savannah, the revolutionaries (many of them African-born) and Europeans struck and parried for an entire year. In the end, the Dutch prevailed because of one unique advantage—their ability to get soldiers and supplies from neighboring colonies and from Europe […Learn More]

Americas

The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World

The hidden story of the wanton slaughter — in Indonesia, Latin America, and around the world — backed by the United States.

In 1965, the U.S. government helped the Indonesian military kill approximately one million innocent civilians. This was one of the most important turning points of the twentieth century, eliminating the largest communist party outside China and the Soviet Union and inspiring copycat terror programs in faraway countries like Brazil and Chile. […Learn More]