Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 6:4 (Fall 1986). Copyright © 1986 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The strength of this monograph is evident in its solid documentation of three hundred years of Spanish and creole settlement in the tropical plains (llanos) frontier of Colombia, which extends east from the Andean cordillera into the greater llanos of Venezuela. Although speaking directly to a general historiographical and theoretical interest in the frontier, particularly in Latin America and specifically in Colombia, Jane Rausch also provides important background detail about rural history as it relates to political and economic development, especially for Latin America.' While limited to discussion of the Colombian llanos, Rausch's synthesis of parochial detail permits tantalizing comparative insight into issues of broader thematic interest, such as the mission in Latin America as a frontier institution or the various frontiers as (paradoxically) centers of independence movements in Latin America.