A masterpiece of the historian's craft... This work will stand as a landmark in the historiography of early modern Spain.
Journal of Interdisciplinary History
With this parhbreaking book Nader has substantially advanced our knowledge of how early modern Castilian society was organized. In refutation of the conventional wisdom about rural stagnation and absolutist oppression, her research reveals a dynamic, prosperous, politically decentralized society composed of self-governing municipalities... [A] magnificent achievement.
English Historical Review
One of the best-documented reassessments of Castilian history in recent years... Nader's rich and suggestive book opens up a problem which most historians of Spain have shirked.
Journal of Modern History
The most stimulating work on Spanish cities to have been published in years.
Analyzes the brilliant Habsburg stroke of selling charters of autonomy to villages, thus converting them into towns, and selling the towns to private buyers--thus bestowing administrative autonomy upon the towns while gaining money to finance imperial pursuits. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)