Wolfgang Gabbert places violence at the center of this outstanding analysis of Yucatán’s Caste War, producing intriguing observations on its role in rural society and political strife during the formative century of Mexican state building. The topic’s historiography has vastly improved since Nelson Reed (1964) published his romanticized vision and recent studies by Paul Sullivan (1989), Don Dumond (1997), and especially Terry Rugeley (2009) have rediscovered the political and cultural contexts of the rebellion, dismissing the simplistic causes and hyperbolic prose of the traditional accounts. Gabbert extensively cites their research, but while violence has always captured the attention of both contemporary observers and modern historians, this author systematically quantifies it and uses it to draw wider conclusions about the nature of Yucatecan politics and society. The book provides a concise account of the events and the origins of the conflagration, but chronology is secondary to its exploration of...

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