David A Brading
Professor David Brading in the courtyard of Condumex, Mexico
David Anthony Brading
26 August 1936
|Other names||D.A. Brading|
|Known for||Mexican History ,|
Church and State
Economic history of Mexico
Celia Wu Brading (m. 1966)
|Children||Christopher James Brading|
|Awards||Bolton Prize (1972) |
Order of the Aztec Eagle (2002)
Medalla de Honor del Congreso Peru (2011)
|Alma mater||Cambridge University (BA, 1960; University College London PhD, 1965)|
University of California, Berkeley
|Notable works||Mexican Phoenix. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition Across Five Centuries, |
The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriotism and the Liberal State 1492-1867
David Anthony Brading Litt.D, FRHistS, FBA (born 26 August 1936), is a British historian and Professor Emeritus  of Mexican History at the University of Cambridge, where he is an Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall and a Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College. His work has been recognized with several awards,including the Bolton Prize in 1972  the Order of the Aztec Eagle in 2002 from the Mexican government . and the Medal of Congress from the Peruvian government in 2011. Brading has received honorary degrees from several universities, including Universidad del Pacifico, Universidad de Lima and the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
David Brading was born in London, England and educated at St Ignatius' College and Pembroke College, Cambridge where he read History and obtained a BA (Hons) Double first-class honours in 1960. He was an Exhibitioner and Foundation Scholar at Cambridge University where he attended the lectures of David Knowles, Geoffrey Elton, and Michael Postan. In 1961 he was awarded a Henry Fellowship to Yale University.But it was later that year, whilst in Mexico, that Brading's fascination with the country began, "I have now found my field of study: sixteenth-century Spain and Latin America"...The more I think of it, the more Latin America seems attractive. Sixteenth-century Spain, looking back to the Reconquista and forward to the Counter Reformation and the decadence. The nature of its Catholicism, its mysticism, the history of its expansion, the Jesuits, its art, architecture and poetry. Latin America with its archaeology and anthropology, the nature of its liberalism and its revolutions."
After working for several months in the British civil service as Assistant Principal at the Board of Trade, he received his M.A. from Cambridge University and enrolled for a PhD at University College, under the supervision of John Lynch.
Deciding to investigate silver mining in New Spain, Brading spent 15 months engaged in archival research, starting in the Archive of the Indies , Biblioteca Nacional de España and the Archivo Histórico Nacional before continuing in Mexico in the National Library of Mexico, General Archive of the Nation and finally the archive of Guanajuato. The fruition of this research was the completion in 1965 of his doctoral thesis, entitled "Society and Administration in Late Eighteen Century Guanajuato with especial reference to the Silver Mining Industry" which was examined by Charles Boxer and John Parry.
Returning to the United States as Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Brading delivered three sets of lectures dealing with Mexico, Peru and Argentina, before moving to Yale University as Associate Professor in 1971.
Brading's first book, Miners and Merchants in Bourbon Mexico 1765-1810 was published in 1971. It dealt with the general history of the silver industry in Mexico with a comprehensive study of Guanajuato and it's mines, population and leading families. A review in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science called it "landmark of dissertation research and organization" while Fernand Braudel who is considered one of the greatest of the modern historians found it a "fascinating book". It won the Bolton Prize in 1972
In 1973, 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 a fellow of St Edmund's College from 1975-1988. In 1991 a LittD was awarded to Brading and he was made Reader in Latin American History at Cambridge University. The following year he was the Leverhulme Research Fellow in Mexico, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Lima in Peru. and was elected membership of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts of which he is one of only ten British members in the humanities, the others being Roger Scruton, Richard Overy , Norman Davies and Timothy Garton Ash among others. In 1999, Brading was made Professor in Latin American History at Cambridge University.
In 1992, Brading's book The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State, 1492-1867 was published. Its central thesis was that Spaniards born in the New World (creoles) had an American cultural identity, a creole consciousness, distinct from those born and raised in Spain (peninsulares). A review in the journal History declared it to be a book of major importance on the topic, as did a review in the Journal of Latin American Studies. The Mexican literary magazine Letras Libres "said it occupies a place of honor in the library of neophytes and scholars."
In 2001, 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 2007 a Festschrift was published in his honour, entitled Mexican Soundings: Essays in Honour of David A. Brading.The Hispanic American Historical Review in a review of the book said "Brading's contributions to Mexican history are equaled by few and exceeded by none." while an essay by Eric Van Young praised Brading as the " leading scholar of intellectual history and the Catholic Church for colonial Mexico."
In the Spring 1998 newsletter of the Conference on Latin American History published by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, William McGreevey in a study of the 11 volumes of The Cambridge History of Latin America, bibliographic essays, demonstrated that David Brading was "cited more frequently than that of any other writer on Latin American history".
el presidente Fox distinguiera al profesor David Brading con el Aguila Azteca,
Por sus contribuciones a la historia de México, nombran Doctor Honoris Causa a Enrique Florescano, Friedrich Katz y David A. Brading en la Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
From D.A. Brading's fascinating book on eightteenth-century New Spain