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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte
"For anyone who wants to learn about the rise and decline of Potosí as a city . . . Lane's book is the ideal place to begin."—New York Review of Books
In 1545, a native Andean prospector hit pay dirt on a desolate red mountain in highland Bolivia. There followed the world’s greatest silver bonanza, making the Cerro Rico, or “Rich Hill,” and the Imperial Villa of Potosí instant legends, famous from Istanbul to Beijing. The Cerro Rico alone provided over half of the world’s silver for a century, and even in decline, it remained the single richest source on Earth.
Potosí is the first interpretive history of the fabled mining city’s rise and fall. From Potosí’s startling emergence in the sixteenth century to its collapse in the nineteenth, Kris Lane tells the story of global economic transformation and the environmental and social impact of rampant colonial exploitation. Lane’s invigorating narrative offers rare details of this thriving city and its promise of prosperity. A new world—native workers, market women, African slaves, and other ordinary residents living alongside elite merchants, refinery owners, wealthy widows, and crown officials—emerges in lively, riveting stories from the original sources. An engrossing depiction of excess and devastation, Potosí reveals the relentless human tradition in boom times and bust.
16th century to 19th century, crown officials, rise and decline of potosi, native workers, history of fabled mining city, elite merchants, global economic transformation, provided half of worlds silver, african slaves, wealthy widows, human traditions in boom times and bust, worlds greatest silver bonanza, market women, single richest source on earth, excess and devastation, refinery owners