“The Plebeian Republic is a well-done and welcome contribution to ongoing debates on the meaning of political independence from Spain and the difficulties the new nation-states faced in creating new political, economic, and social spaces. Cecilia Méndez not only asks new questions but, in answering them, dismantles long-held assumptions about the nonparticipation of manifold social groups in the construction of politics.”—Christine Hünefeldt, author of Liberalism in the Bedroom: Quarreling Spouses in Nineteenth-Century Lima
“The Plebeian Republic is an exciting and pathbreaking examination of state formation seen from a local perspective. Cecilia Méndez offers a convincing analysis of how people who are usually seen as ‘acted upon’ and reacting to political events develop and act on political strategies of their own. I found this a wonderful read.”—Karen Spalding, author of Huarochirí: An Andean Society under Inca and Spanish Rule
“This book contributes substantially to our understanding of peasant political participation in state formation in Latin America . . . . The book definitively contributes to a new political history of the nineteenth century . . . . In fact, the formation of democratic tendencies in the 1930s, the particular character of the Peruvian military, the relevance of indigenista ideology, and the resistance of this region’s peasantry to Senderista violence can also be better understood after reading this book.”
“This is a very rich book, both in ideas and in research. Mendez's reconceptualization of peasant politics for the nineteenth century will be influential. While many scholars will not agree with all of Mendez' conclusions, they are thought provoking and have wide-ranging implications for the rest of Latin America. This is an important book that adds considerably to the debate on the nature of the Latin American nation-state in the nineteenth century.”
(Erick D. Langer
, Journal of Social History
"This is an immense contribution not only to the study of nineteenth century Peruvian history, but to the scholarship of the region and must be read by every specialist wishing to gain further understanding of the rural Andes."
(Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, Journal of Latin American Studies
About the Author
Cecilia Méndez is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Los trabajadores guaneros del Perú, 1840–1879.