By treating all Indians as explorers and connecting the Indians of Mexico to the tribes further north, Mrs. Farquhar gives the subject a greater interest than it might have per se. In this, and throughout the text of her intelligent survey, she also serves the cause of historical accuracy, indicating where information is based on artifacts, where deduced from legend. And she is more thorough and direct than many writers of non-fiction for this age, avoiding both oversimplification and condescension. Each tribe--the primitive, the Olmecs the Maya, the Toltecs, the Aztecs--is characterized in some detail, the Aztees especially: the reader discovers how they dressed, lived, worked, fought and learned. (The tragedy of Cortez' coming is rendered innocuous--a minor weakness.) Considerably extending and enlivening the text are the very precise illustrations, which manage to suggest Mexico without exotic exaggeration. A good book to begin on, and there's room to grow--we may learn more from excavations.