"Wolf drew on anthropology, archaeology, history, and geography to mold a magnificent, sweeping, and beautifully written synthesis. With style and deep personal engagement he unraveled the complexity of Mexico and Guatemala's past with its multiple ethnicities, many languages, and environmental diversity. . . . Armies of graduate students have challenged many of the details, but the book stands as a monument to a time when social scientists were able to think large thoughts and write elegant English"-- "Foreign Affairs," Significant Books of the Last 75 Years.