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Labor and Love in Guatemalaexplores the gendered mechanisms that have fueled many of the major developments in Latin America's social history. Focusing on Guatemala in the late colonial period, Komisaruk demonstrates that the period from the 1760s to 1821 was one of rapid transition for both ethnic identities and labor forms. This book depicts the gendered structures of labor, migration, family, and reproduction at the root of the shift from coerced to free labor. By drawing on hundreds of archival records and court cases, the book portrays a range of ordinary individuals and families in extraordinary detail. It reconstructs Afro-Guatemalan family histories through slavery and freedom, and it tells the stories of native (Indian) working peoplewomen, men, and childrenbased on their own narratives. Komisaruk reveals that informal unions, informal divorces, and female-headed households were remarkably widespread. Unlike many previous studies, this book shows love as it was actually practiced, amidst remarkably permissive attitudes among individuals and within the state.