History and Latin America

$34.95 paperback

Add to Cart

A History of Mining in Latin America: From the Colonial Era to the Present

Kendall Brown

For twenty-five years, Kendall Brown studied Potosí, Spanish America's greatest silver producer and perhaps the world's most famous mining district. He read about the flood of silver that flowed from its Cerro Rico and learned of the toil of its miners. Potosí symbolized fabulous wealth and unbelievable suffering. New World bullion stimulated the formation of the first world economy but at the same time it had profound consequences for labor, as mine operators and refiners resorted to extreme forms of coercion to secure workers. In many cases the environment also suffered devastating harm.

All of this occurred in the name of wealth for individual entrepreneurs, companies, and the ruling states. Yet the question remains of how much economic development mining managed to produce in Latin America and what were its social and ecological consequences. Brown's focus on the legendary mines at Potosí and comparison of its operations to those of other mines in Latin America is a well-written and accessible study that is the first to span the colonial era to the present.

Part of the Diálogos Series of Latin American Studies


Kendall W. Brown is professor of history at Brigham Young University.


"Brown provides a readable, engaging, and well-researched account of the development of mining industries in Latin America from Spanish colonization to the present time. . . .Essential."



"Brown has provided an excellent overview on this important topic. A History of Mining in Latin America is a solid addition to mining history literature and will serve as a starting point for much future work on this many-faceted subject."


Colonial Latin American Historical Review

6 x 9 in. 280 pages 15 halftones, 3 maps, 3 graphs