Skip to main content Skip to footer

David Brading

College positions:
Emeritus Fellow
History, Mexican History
Contact details:

Professor David A. Brading

David Brading is Professor Emeritus of Mexican History at the University of Cambridge. He is regarded as one of the foremost historians of Latin America in the United Kingdom, and was the most widely cited British Latin Americanist.

He studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and received his PhD from University College London. In 1965 he was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and Associate Professor at Yale University in 1971.

Professor Brading’s first book, Miners and Merchants was published in 1971. It dealt with the general history of the silver industry in Mexico with a comprehensive study of Guanajuato and its mines, population and leading families. Fernand Braudel found it a ‘fascinating book’. It won the Bolton Prize in 1972.

In 1973, Professor Brading returned to Cambridge University as a University Lecturer in Latin American History and become Director of the Centre of Latin American Studies at Cambridge University from 1975 – 1990.
He was elected a Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge from 1975–1989 and of Clare Hall from 1995. In 1991 a LittD was awarded and he was made Reader in Latin American History at Cambridge University.

In 1992, The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State, 1492–1867 was published, and then in 1999, he was made Professor in Latin American History at Cambridge University. In 2001, Professor Brading published Mexican Phoenix, Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition across Five Centuries, a detailed history of the most important religious icon in Latin America – the Virgin of Guadalupe. Foreign Affairs magazine commented in a review saying that it was ‘brilliant’… and having ‘remarkable insight’. In 2002 he received the Order of the Aztec Eagle in 2002 from the Mexican government, and in 2008 he was awarded the Medalla 1808 Award. Professor Brading received four Hononary Professorships and Doctorates. In 2011 he was awarded the Peruvian Congressional Medal of Honour.

Select publications

  • Miners and Merchants in Bourbon Mexico, 1763–1810 (Cambridge University Press, 1971)
  • Haciendas and Ranchos in the Mexican Bajio: Leon 1700–1863 (Cambridge University Press, 1978)
  • Caudillo and Peasant in the Mexican Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 1980)
  • Prophecy and Myth in Mexican History (Cambridge University Press, 1984)
  • The Origins of Mexican Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 1985)
  • The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriotism and the Liberal State 1492–1867 (Cambridge University Press, 1991)
  • Church and State in Bourbon Mexico. The Diocese of Michoacan, 1749–1810 (Cambridge University Press, 1994)
  • Mexican Phoenix. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition Across Five Centuries (Cambridge University Press, 2001)
  • Octavio Paz y la poética de la historia mexicana (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2002)
  • Mexican soundings : essays in honour of David A. Brading, Edited by Susan Deans-Smith and Eric Van Young (London: Institute for the Study of the Americas, 2007.)

Select awards

  • Winner of the Bolton Prize, 1972
  • Order of the Aztec Eagle from the Mexican government, 2002
  • Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, 2008
  • Awarded the Peruvian Congressional Medal of Honour, 2011
  • Awarded the Medalla 1808 award by the Mexican Government, 2008
  • Honorary Professor, University of Guanajuato, Mexico, 2005
  • Honorary Doctorate, Michoacán University of Saint Nicholas of Hidalgo, Morelia, Mexico, 2004
  • Honorary Professor University of Lima, Peru, 1993
  • Honorary Doctorarte, Universidad del Pacifico, Lima, Perú, 2012

Further links