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

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]