The state of Oaxaca has been studied intensively by archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists, but this is the first comprehensive overview of rural communities in the twentieth century. The study is rooted in the colonial and post-independence periods; but the text concentratesprimarily on the post-revolutionary period, and on the land reform which allowed peasantries to be reconstituted in the lowland areas of the state, as a complement to the traditional peasantries which still existed on communal lands at high altitudes. Peasant lifestyles and production systems areexamined, in particular to distinguish between those activities which are subsistence orientated, and those which are geared to the market. In the last thirty years rural life has been transformed by improved communications, and by services provided by the federal state, but above all by migration to Oaxaca City, other Mexican cities, and the USA. The outcome has been the emergence of class differences at the level of the community;the development of ethnic identities, based on language and regional differences; and the emergence of opposition to the hegemony of the party of government, the PRI. The wide range of issues under discussion will make this volume of interest to geographers, historians, anthropologists, and thoseinvolved in development studies.