Von Germeten - Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall 2007, 363-365

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Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall 2007, 363-365 www.ncsu.edu/project/acontracorriente Review/Reseña Daniel Castro, Another Face of Empire: Bartolomé de Las Casas, Indigenous Rights, and Ecclesiastical Imperialism . Durham: Duke University Press, 2007. Bartolomé de Las Casas: Ecclesiastical Imperialist? Nicole von Germeten Oregon State University In Another Face of Empire , Daniel Castro takes on the daunting task of de-sanctifying Bartolomé de Las Casas. Las Casas still satisfies some students’ and scholars’ craving for a hero in the vast expanse of colonial Latin American history. The hero worship of Las Casas today partially derives from the tendency to see history in good vs. evil dichotomies. 1 Of course these dichotomies create passive victims of evil, and, as readers, we congratulate ourselves with our sympathy with the victimized. As Castro writes: “By anointing Las Casas as a symbol of resistance and as a savior of the Indians, all of us can share in his accomplishments” (178). While 1 See, for example, Lawrence A. Clayton’s unpublished biography of Las Casas on www.lascasas.org/manissues.htm .
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von Germeten 364 Castro’s book suffers from repetitiveness and a few internal contradictions, in general, Another Face of Empire provides a convincing argument for finally retiring the myth of Las Casas as the “father of America” and the “protector of the Indians.” At the crux of Castro’s argument are two key points: Las Casas was
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Von Germeten - Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall 2007, 363-365

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