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"Using colonial tax and census records, scholars think the indigenous population dropped at least 90% in the first 160 years after the European conquest. Mismanagement, drought, famine, flood, earthquakes, and even volcanic eruptions all had their victims but the chief cause of death were none of these. In colonial Guatemala the pests, the epidemics, were the greatest killers.

There are many books on medicine in colonial Guatemala. What makes this work different is that it is neither a broad history of the colonial era nor restricted to a single ethnic group or profession. Instead, it seeks to answer the question: What happened when an epidemic struck?

Boson Books also offers Motagua Colonial by Lawrence Feldman. For an author bio, photo, and a sample read visit "

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