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El Gran Capitán: The Expulsion of the Muslims from Spain and the French from Italy Paperback – August 18, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 554 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463606605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463606602
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,538,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, Angel J. Ortiz Jr. graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and served in the Ecuador Navy. While working for the Bechtel Corporation in California, as Engineering Manager, he travelled to South America, Europe, India, and the Orient, and it was during the years he spent in Bilbao and Barcelona that he became interested in Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, also known as El Gran Capitán. The fact that his wife is a direct descendant of this historical figure’s family gave rise to them amassing a wealth of documented information during their stay in Spain and Italy. Equipped with insights into the life of his protagonist, as well as those of other important characters, Ortiz was highly motivated to bring the story of El Gran Capitán to the public. Ortiz currently resides in San Diego, California with his wife.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susanne Ball on March 2, 2012
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El Gran Capitan is an amazing empirical study, meticulously researched, with an emotional presence that delivers you back to the dawning of the Renaissance in Mediterranean Europe. It is a revealing insight into the political and social dynamics of a special time and people. It is a grand story of a hero, and you will be intrigued until the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike Berger on February 23, 2012
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This is a powerful and exciting story based on the life of a man who was a powerful influence on his tumultous times. The world cries to have men such as this in our day. From advising the Pope to mend his ways to interaction with kings and queens, and having never lost a battle, this story based on historical facts will not let you put it down until the final page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Literary Critic on December 6, 2011
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The author has accomplished an excellent result in writing this book; making a long but enjoyable novel of a history subject about an almost mythological man of Iberian classic history. The subject is amenable the character of the hero is very impressive in many ways. The time at the start of the Renaissance of Spain and the places in Iberia's "El Andalus" and in Central Italy, are most significant in classic human history precursor to the expansion of the known world from Europe. The author's style makes for easy pleasant reading and maintains the reader's interest all along, but especially in the chapters in the first half and at the end. I got a little tired reading on only a few chapters after the center of the book, because of the many strategic and tactical details of warfare campaigns, that I almost lost the main focus which is the noble virtues and magnanimous personality of the "Great Captain" . I recommend this book highly!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kaz on November 14, 2011
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A great read not only for the history but for the people that made that history. Angel Ortiz brought life into history. The personalities, the intrigue, the details of battles, the geography, castles and towns, the good and the bad of the human beings that created the history are brought together into a colorfull, complex and yet smooth tapestry. All swirling around Gonzalo Fernando de Cordoba, the most influential and yet the most righteous man of his time. Unforgettable. The most enjoyable read in a long time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. D. Blatchford on November 6, 2012
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I studied Spanish in junior high school. My wife said that she'd married me with the prospect of living overseas, since I worked for Bechtel Corporation, the international engineering and construction firm. That opportunity arrived in 1977. It was an ideal time to go - our kids were 11 and 6. Peggy and I both took Spanish lessons at Inlingua in San Francisco. (We stayed until 1982.) After we first arrived in Madrid, I took further lessons at two different schools, all "total immersion." At the end, I was only half-fluent in the language that is the easiest to learn. I eventually discovered: To be fluent, one has to be able to think in the language.

But I digress. Angie and I worked together in Bechtel Espana, he in Bilbao and I in Madrid. I learned a lot about Spain during that time. And its connections to California and the United States. I carried on my travels James Michener's "Iberia." Once, when we visited the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela, I was reading to my kids his description of the Puerta Santa (Holy Door.) It is described in a single paragraph of Michener's book, on final page 757. Soon a small crowd of English-speaking tourists gathered around us. I'm not much of a tour guide, but I was flattered and mildly amused.

So I am continuing to plow through Angie's book (billed as a novel;) not that it is boring but because (as an engineer) I tend to get bogged down in detail. I have to discipline myself to focus on the main characters like Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, and breeze through the other guys. Angie, where is the dividing line?

A good piece of work!
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