"Trevor Stack gives us a textured and sensitive ethnography of what history is for the residents of a Mexican town, revealing the multiple ways that popular notions of local history diverge from ideas about what constitutes national history, as well as how history as it is understood by townspeople is different from the history written by academics. Wielding a keen ethnographic eye and a lucid pen, Stack has written a book that is at once theoretically sophisticated and highly accessible, bridging anthropology and history in imaginative ways."
—Joanne Rappaport, Georgetown University, coauthor of Beyond the Lettered City: Indigenous Literacies in the Andes
“Trevor Stack has written a deceptively simple yet important book that is a delight to read. Focusing on several small communities in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, he sets out to answer two basic questions: what is history? And why do people find it interesting? Bringing the eye and ear of an expert ethnographer to these questions, he shows a genuine, but critical, respect for history and in a crucial move relates the different notions of history he finds in his Mexican communities to the construction of citizenship at both local and national levels. Historians, anthropologists, political scientists and those from many other disciplines will find much to ponder in this finely written account that manages to avoid professional jargon while making an important and complex set of arguments.”—Daniel James, Bernardo Mendel Chair of Latin American History, Indiana University, author of Doña María’s Story: Life History, Memory, and Political Identity