Kris Lane's interpretative history of the famed Bolivian silver city of Potosí offers a nuanced and masterfully told story of the boom, bust, and stubborn survival of a city whose existence seems to both define and defy Spanish imperial aspirations. The introduction, which offers a brief historiography of the city, summarizes the difficulty in presenting such a narrative—extant histories that address Potosí do so almost exclusively as mining histories, thus the stories told center on the economic, environmental, or health-related impacts of the industry, losing, perhaps, the story of the rise of a New World city in the process. Lane offers a comprehensive history that integrates the complex webs of commerce...

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