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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Historical and Religious Account of Maya, August 2, 2008
By 
Harry Littell (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge Latin American Studies) (Paperback)
This is really the first book I read in depth on the subject of the Maya. I have read substantial parts of other books, but this author's approach is remarkable in that she is able to delineate at all times between the religious and the historical which can be very much intertwined during this amazing period. It is clear that the histories of the Inca, Maya, and Aztec are very much different. You get from her account an almost novel type of reading experience as it becomes so lifelike. It is truly a remarkable book about a fascinating and extremely resilient and committed people. It was not easy for me to read in the sense that it so dense as far as the knowledge is concerned, and I was hurried. But it is extremely well documented and this helps a great deal in cementing one's understanding to the truth of what actually took place. It is truly a tragic period in human history presented in great clarity and compassion.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Presents the facts, illuminates the various possibilities, and lets the reader draw his own judgments, July 30, 2010
This review is from: Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge Latin American Studies) (Paperback)
An interesting look at the encounter of Spaniards and Mayas through conquest and colonization. An eye-opening essay that -as it should- brings into the consideration of the reader all the possible interpretations that the facts allow. I think the title is very appropriate because not everything is just black or white; there aren't just angels and devils in the story of the conquest and colonization of South America. The amazing thing is that all the protagonists have their dark and their bright side to tell. The book is divides unevenly on two parts: the first parts zooms in on the Spaniards, their motivation and arguments for what they did; the second, shorter, centers on what little -if anything- we know first hand from the natives. The book cleverly picks up on the life of Franciscan friar Diego de Landa. His story serves as the thread that connects all others.

The book is not the typical show-off product from the liberal Ivy League college, meant to pander to federal money hunters of non-white skin. Plus it's very readable, free from academical jargon.

The minuses are its second -but shorter- part, having no written testimonies from the natives, and the lack of any map of illustration of worth. We are told that the book focuses on the encounters that took place on the Yucatan peninsula, but there's a lot of traveling and action taking place here and there, and no help is given to the reader to geographically situate himself.

If only for the first part, the book is a very interesting read and brings a new light on how both peoples must have felt in their daily encounters with their new neighbors.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it, June 10, 2013
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This review is from: Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge Latin American Studies) (Paperback)
Well documented and writing, I would like to include more information from the other side, not as always, the history is written by the winers
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Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge Latin American Studies)
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