The University of Wisconsin Press

History / Latin American


Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World, 18th to 20th Centuries
Edited by Steve J. Stern

This collection of essays challenges our understanding of the history of native Andean rebellion during the last three centuries.

The contributors—historians and anthropologists from a number of countries—move beyond the traditional structural analysis of society to a finer understanding of people as actors. Native Andean initiatives and consciousness are clearly placed at the center of this inquiry, which merges the best methods of history an anthropology.

Stern begins with a vigorously argued theoretical essay in which he identifies major findings and arguments running throughout the book, demonstrates their pertinence to the more general field of peasant studies, and draws out the implications for theory and method. He reappraises the role of peasant consciousness and political horizons; and the significance of ethnic factors in explaining "peasant" consciousness and revolt.

The case studies themselves revamp the history of Andean peasant rebellion and consciousness in Peru and Bolivia. This is accomplished by studying violent uprisings as transitional moments within a long-term trajectory embracing varied forms of resistance, and by scrutinizing closely the ideological and cultural aspects of domination, political legitimacy, and rebellion. The results sharply alter our understanding of three major historical problems: the crisis of Spanish colonial rule and the outbreak of native Andean insurrection in the eighteenth century; the response to peasants to creole wars and nation-building efforts in the nineteenth century; and the political strategies and dilemmas of Andean peasants in the context of populist and radical politics in the twentieth century.

Steve J. Stern is professor in the department of history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His books include Peru's Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest, and as coauthor Confronting Historical Paradigms: Peasants, Labor, and the Capitalist World System in Africa and Latin America, both published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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The cover of Stern's book is red, with an engraving of a man on horseback.


LC: 87-040152 F
416 pp.   6 x 9   9 maps

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Paper $27.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-11354-4
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The 1987 cloth edition, ISBN 978-0-299-11350-7, is out of print.

“Rich and varied fare by some of the best Andeanist scholars. . . . A standard reference for years to come. What we have here is an attempt to integrate the lessons learned from the Andean experience into a larger, world-wide context.”
—Erick D. Langer, Journal of Social History

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Updated June 7, 2012

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