Over the past decade, the support of many people and institutions enabled
me to research and write this book. First and foremost, I gratefully acknowl-
edge the American Council of Learned Societies and the late Charles Rys-
kamp. Their generosity made it possible for me to conduct fieldwork in
Mexico during the 2002–3 academic year. At Duke University Press my editor,
Valerie Millholland, ably seconded by Miriam Angress and Gisela Fosado,
patiently saw this project through to its completion. I hope that it was worth
the wait.
Many scholars read and commented on parts of the book. Long discus-
sions with David Nugent about Latin American history and politics were the
seed of this project. Silvia Arrom, Roberto Blancarte, Kristina Boylan, Mi-
chael Ducey, Wolfgang Gabbert, Paul Gillingham, Alan Knight, Jennie Pur-
nell, Ute Schüren, and Rich Warren commented on various chapters. Mat-
thew Butler helped me get a firmer grasp of the history of the Church in
Mexico. Benjamin Smith read and provided valuable feedback on the entire
manuscript. Two anonymous readers at Duke University made this a much
better book. Despite all their sage advice and counsel, this work undoubt-
edly contains errors, and they all are my own.
I am indebted to several colleagues’ kindness for help in researching this
volume. Years ago Mary Kay Vaughan insisted I go to the federal education
archives, and for that I am in her debt. Peter Reich, a true pioneer in the
Church archives, lent me a copy of Paul Murray’s survey of the Church in
Mexico. Finally, Frans Schreyer generously shared his field notes as well as
important insights into the Nahua of Hidalgo and Guerrero.
In Mexico City, the sta√s of several archives provided invaluable profes-
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