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This is in line with his general humanist approach. I for one enjoy it, and while he interprets facts with a an eye for revision or "what ifs" or "just maybe," he never abuses the subject. In fact, he takes us on a journey to question everything we might know or think we know from reading canonical texts.
This particular series is also beautifully shot and taken as a whole is a fresh educational and entertainment experience for those who know little about the Conquistadors and their importance to world history.
I can't say enough good things about this DVD. It is another fine PBS production.
presenters out there. His seminal work, "Trojan War" opened whole
doors for me and is a superb production on almost every level even
if it is somewhat dated by today's standards.
But "Conquistadors" was quite another matter and one need only look
at the contents page of the book to see why. Whereas the book was SIX
chapters long, the video is only FOUR parts. Painfully for me, Wood
chose to leave out almost any mention of the Journey of Cabeza de Vaca
from the video although it is the final chapter of his book. The tale
of de Vaca is perhaps the most fantastic of the Conquistador Tales if
only for its' tragedy and futility. And these qualities are matched by
the sacrifice and determination of those same adventurers.
More to the point, it is THE classic tale of the search for the "Seven
Cities of Gold" that is the culmination of the Conquistador Era.
Instead, Wood choses to conclude with a meandering tale of lost men in
the Amazon Basin that while it is heroic it is also distant from any
of the previous tales as can be. The longer Wood worked his way down-
river the more I was reminded of his early effort in the old "Great
Rail Journeys" PBS/BBC series where he beautifully summed up the
ravages of Colonialism whilst retracing the ruined remains of the old
That interpretation of the Congo Railway was a brilliant re-tracing,
this video is just plain up the creek without a paddle. A rental, maybe.
No way a purchase. Borrow the book from the library if you like and
then if you like what you read come back here and look for reprints of
the original histories Wood drew from. Those ARE worth your time indeed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Presents geographical and historical details, showing modern day re-creations of routes that Cortez and other Spanish explorers took. Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by poolsidedesigner
Conquistadors is must see, it does not shy on revealing what actually happened as best as any modern man could.Published on September 14, 2011 by American
I bought this film for use in my social studies classes. The film had more to do with the producer visiting modern mexico, riding around in taxis and trains, eating mexican foods,... Read morePublished on May 29, 2009 by KD
I was looking forward to watching this series after having seen Mr Wood's history of India series on PBS. Read morePublished on January 18, 2009 by AZ Mutley