The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, Volume II: Mesoamerica (Part Two), gives a comprehensive and authoritative overview of all the important native civilizations of the Mesoamerican area, beginning with archaeological discussions of paleoindian, archaic and preclassic societies and continuing to the present. Fully illustrated and engagingly written, the book is divided into sections that discuss the native cultures of Mesoamerica before and after their first contact with the Europeans. The various chapters balance theoretical points of view as they trace the cultural history and evolutionary development of such groups as the Olmec, the Maya, the Aztec, the Zapotec, and the Tarascan. The chapters covering the prehistory of Mesoamerica offer explanations for the rise and fall of the Classic Maya, the Olmec, and the Aztec, giving multiple interpretations of debated topics, such as the nature of Olmec culture. Through specific discussions of the native peoples of the different regions of Mexico, the chapters on the period since the arrival of the Europeans address the themes of contact, exchange, transfer, survivals, continuities, resistance, and the emergence of modern nationalism and the nation-state.