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From the Publisher"The content is rich in detail and the narrative extremely well written, keeping the reader constantly engaged in the intricate nature of the events that culminated in the 'ethnogenesis' of the Xoco Indians and the quilombolas of Mocambo. . . . Required reading not just for people interested in the formation and transformation of racial and ethnic identities in Latin America, but also for anyone interested in the impact of state multiculturalism."
"A painstakingly detailed account of the making of new ethnicities and of what in Brazil has been called "neocommunities" in rural Brazil, where both índio-ness and negritude are contested icons undergoing a process of re-signification—from onus to bonus, from liability to asset."
"Incisively engages definitional and legal questions concerning identity and indigeneity, which lie actually at the forefront of cultural anthropology today. . . . French's findings are perceptive, organized, and cast in fine-tuned prose."
"Analyzes a fascinating case of identity transformation in Brazil's Northeast. . . . Provides a nuanced account of how new conditions of possibility for collective action can transform identity formations."
-Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
"Jan French's excellent study pushes forward the challenge to traditional distinctions between blackness and indigeneity in new and challenging ways. . . . A great and intriguing book, which is required reading for people interested in racial and ethnic identities in Latin America."
-Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
"For years, scholars have argued that racial and ethnic identities are constructed, but few have explored that process as well as Jan Hoffman French. . . . [An] important book. . . . The study's many strengths derive from Hoffman French's use of the methods and sources of cultural anthropology and social history."
"Legalizing Identities is an extremely well-written, empirically rich, and sophisticated analysis of 'ethnogenesis' in Northeastern Brazil. It will be an appealing book for courses taught on race/ethnicity, Indianness, Blackness, law and society, and Latin American studies."
-Jonathan W. Warren, University of Washington
"Legalizing Identities details the complex and contingent histories through which residents of two towns who were not in fact very different from each other came to be legally recognized as indigenous (the Xoc-) and black (the quilombo). This powerful and historically rich ethnography speaks to issues of race, ethnicity, identity, inequality, and law, and does so in a way that is both analytically compelling and engaging to read."
-Susan Bibler Coutin, University of California, Irvine