This is a book report on How to Write the History of the New World. It provides a reinterpretation of the historiography on colonial Latin America. Jorge Canizares-Esguerra, an assistant professor of history at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
How to Write the History of the New World by Jorge Canizares-Esguerra provides a reinterpretation of the historiography on colonial Latin America. Jorge Canizares-Esguerra, an assistant professor of history at the State University of New York at Buffalo, states that in the 16th century European historians used Europeans’ accounts, as well as the original writings from the societies of Mesoamerica and the Andes, to write histories of the New World.
Modern historians work under the postulation that published documents cannot quite be trusted as evidence of authentic experience because; they are the products of devious rhetorical manipulation. Instead, these historians see archival materials such as diaries and letters as more reliable windows into the experiences of historical actors. These documents, historians have long challenge, present us with an actor’s sense of his or her life absent the rhetorical maneuvers one uses in the effort to shape or fashion those texts for posterity. Canizares-Esguerra’s How to Write the History of the New World “seeks to show that these modern awareness invented in the 18th century in apparently obscure epistemological disputes” (1). He challenges the prevailing story of the exclusively European emergence of these historical sensibilities by arguing that “the New World was as significant in eliciting the fundamental tenets of contemporary historians as it was in shaping the economies of the Atlantic world” (7).
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