Acknowledgments perform the essential intellectual task of situating the
production of an individual work in a long chain of influence, collabo-
ration, and encouragement. I’ve worked over this section several times,
more than any other part of the book, so I’ll just stop here, apologize to
anyone I may have missed, and start at the beginning.
Originally from Bolivia and having spent most of my life in La Paz, I
had the good fortune to have first been taught the connection between
politics and history by Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Ivonne Farah, Julio Man-
tilla, Hugo Bedregal Romero, and Danilo Paz Ballivian while at the Uni-
versity of San Andrés. Aymara scholars and activists such as Julian Ugarte,
Clemente Pimentel, Anacleta Ventura, Prudencio Peňa, and Ricarda Torri-
cos first introduced me to the complicated history of Andean indigenous
activists. I also benefited from extensive academic discussions on the topic
with Tomas Huanca, Carlos Mamani of the Taller de Historia Oral Andina
(thoa), and Roberto Choque.
In 1998 I began my journey toward earning my PhD at Carnegie Mel-
lon University, where I had the privilege to work with outstanding schol-
ars such as Tera Hunter, who first taught me about the history of race.
Soon thereafter, however, I received an offer to continue my studies at
Georgetown University. Having only recently left Bolivia, I felt unsure
about making the move, but friends like Forrest Hylton convinced me
that Georgetown and Washington, DC, would offer me a rich intellectual
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