Honorable Lives

Honorable Lives is an important addition to our knowledge of elite behavior in Latin America. Uribe-Uran's work creates a vital connection between group biography and local politics, giving us a social history of late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Colombian politics. By highlighting both lawyers' political actions and the consequences of those actions in the crucial transition period from colony to nation, Uribe-Uran makes a wonderful contribution to our understanding of the process of nineteenth-century modernization.
Susan Socolow, Emory University

The first work in English to discuss the social and political history of lawyers in a Latin American country, Honorable Lives presents a portrait of lawyers in late colonial and early modern Colombia. Uribe-Uran focuses on the social origins, education, and careers of those qualified to practice law before the highest colonial courts—Audiencias—and the republican courts after the 1820s. In the course of his study, Uribe-Uran answers many questions about this elite group of professionals. What were the social origins and families of lawyers? Their relation to the state? Their participation in political movements and parties, revolutions, civil wars, and other political processes? Their ideas, education, and training? By exploring the lives of lawyers, Uribe-Uran is also able to present a general history of Latin America while examining the key social and political changes and continuities from 1780 to 1850—particularly the elites and state managers.

Honorable Lives features three genealogical charts detailing bureaucratic networks established by families of lawyers in different historical periods. The text also contains an abundant series of statistical tables and charts, and concise biographical information on approximately 150 Latin American lawyers. This book will appeal to Latin Americanists, students of law, and anyone interested in the lives and histories of lawyers.

about the author

Victor Uribe-Uran

Victor M. Uribe-Uran is associate professor of history and law at Florida International University.

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Victor Uribe-Uran