Idea of a New General History of North America: An Account of Colonial Native Mexico

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9780806148335: Idea of a New General History of North America: An Account of Colonial Native Mexico
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A Spaniard originally from Italy, the polymath Lorenzo Boturini Benaduci (1702–1753), known as Boturini, traveled to New Spain in 1736. Becoming fascinated by the Mesoamerican cultures of the New World, he collected and copied native writings—and learned Nahuatl, the language in which most of these documents were written. Boturini’s incomparable collection—confiscated, neglected, and dispersed after the Spanish crown condemned his intellectual pursuits—became the basis of his Idea of a New General History of North America. The volume, completed in 1746 and written almost entirely from memory, is presented here in English for the first time, along with the Catálogo, Boturini’s annotated enumeration of the works he had gathered in New Spain.

Stafford Poole’s lucid and nuanced translation of the Idea and Catálogo allows Anglophone readers to fully appreciate Boturini’s unique accomplishment and his unparalleled and sympathetic knowledge of the native peoples of eighteenth-century Mexico. Poole’s introduction puts Boturini’s feat of memory and scholarship into historical context: Boturini was documenting the knowledge and skills of native Americans whom most Europeans were doing their utmost to denigrate. Through extensive, thoughtful annotations, Poole clarifies Boturini’s references to Greco-Roman mythology, authors from classical antiquity, humanist works, ecclesiastical and legal sources, and terms in Nahuatl, Spanish, Latin, and Italian. In his notes to the Catálogo, he points readers to transcriptions and translations of the original materials in Boturini’s archive that exist today.

Invaluable for the new light they shed on Mesoamerican language, knowledge, culture, and religious practices, the Idea of a New General History of North America and the Catálogo also offer a rare perspective on the intellectual practices and prejudices of the Bourbon era—and on one of the most curious and singular minds of the time.

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About the Author:

Susan Schroeder is France Vinton Scholes Professor of Colonial Latin American History Emerita at Tulane University and coeditor of Indian Women of Early Mexico and Chimalpahin’s Conquest: A Nahua Historian’s Rewriting of Francisco López de Gómara’s “La Conquista de México.

Review:

“This accessible, engaging book is a highly valuable contribution to the intellectual history of Latin America, to the history of Mesoamerican scholarship in colonial times, and to the historiography and analysis of primary sources for colonial Latin America.” —David Tavárez, author of The Invisible War: Indigenous Devotions, Discipline, and Dissent in Colonial Mexico

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Benaduci, Lorenzo Boturini; Schroeder, Susan (foreword).
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Book Description University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2015. Hardcover. Condition: New. 248 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. LATIN AMERICA. A Spaniard originally from Italy, the polymath Lorenzo Boturini Benaduci (1702-1753), known as Boturini, traveled to New Spain in 1736. Becoming fascinated by the Mesoamerican cultures of the New World, he collected and copied native writingsÑand learned Nahuatl, the language in which most of these documents were written. Boturini's incomparable collectionÑconfiscated, neglected, and dispersed after the Spanish crown condemned his intellectual pursuitsÑbecame the basis of his Idea of a New General History of North America. The volume, completed in 1746 and written almost entirely from memory, is presented here in English for the first time, along with the Catalogo, Boturini's annotated enumeration of the works he had gathered in New Spain. Stafford Poole's lucid and nuanced translation of the Idea and Catalogo allows Anglophone readers to fully appreciate Boturini's unique accomplishment and his unparalleled and sympathetic knowledge of the native peoples of eighteenth-century Mexico. Poole's introduction puts Boturini's feat of memory and scholarship into historical context: Boturini was documenting the knowledge and skills of native Americans whom most Europeans were doing their utmost to denigrate. Through extensive, thoughtful annotations, Poole clarifies Boturini's references to Greco-Roman mythology, authors from classical antiquity, humanist works, ecclesiastical and legal sources, and terms in Nahuatl, Spanish, Latin, and Italian. In his notes to the Catalogo, he points readers to transcriptions and translations of the original materials in Boturini's archive that exist today. Invaluable for the new light they shed on Mesoamerican language, knowledge, culture, and religious practices, the Idea of a New General History of North America and the Catalogo also offer a rare perspective on the intellectual practices and prejudices of the Bourbon eraÑand on one of the most curious and singular minds of the time. Stafford Poole, C.M., an ordained Roman Catholic priest, is the author of Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Origins and Sources of a Mexican National Symbol, 1531-1797 and Juan de Ovando: Governing the Spanish Empire in the Reign of Philip II. SusanSchroeder is Professor Emeritus of History at Tulane University and coeditor of Indian Women of Early Mexico and Chimalpahin's Conquest: A Nahua Historian's Rewriting of Francisco Lopez de Comara's "La Conquista de Mexico." "This accessible, engaging book is a highly valuable contribution to the intellectual history of Latin America, to the history of Mesoamerican scholarship in colonial times, and to the historiography and analysis of primary sources for colonial Latin America." ÑDavid Tavarez, author of The Invisible War: Indigenous Devotions, Discipline, and Dissent in Colonial Mexico (Key Words: History, North America, Colonial Native Mexico, Lorenzo Boturini Benaduci, Latin America, Susan Schroeder, Stafford Poole). book. Seller Inventory # 86557X1

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Benaduci, Lorenzo Boturini/ Poole, Stafford (Translator)/ Schroeder, Susan (Foreward By)
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