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History of the Conquest of Mexico & History of the Conquest of Peru Paperback – August 15, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
Specifically looking at the famous event of July 1 1520, the "Noche Triste", I see that Prescott and Thomas differ (in the following I will put Thomas inside parentheses). Prescott says the Spaniards chose to retreat on the Tlacopan causeway which was different from the one they came on (Thomas calls it the Tacuba causeway and says that it's the one they came in on); Prescott says Cacama the Lord of Texcoco came along (Thomas says Cacama was killed a month earlier); Prescott says Tlaxcalans were distributed throughout the column (Thomas says they were in the centre); Prescott says "several Indian sentinels" saw the Spaniards leaving (Thomas says it was one woman fetching water); and finally Prescott says that Pedro de Alvarado pole-vaulted over a break on the causeway (Thomas says that can't be true). Also Prescott's passage on the Noche Triste is longer than Thomas's, not just because he's more verbose (which he is), but because he includes details that Thomas omits. Now, for the question "which account is true?" I am unqualified to judge two such thorough scholars, but I know that Prescott is right about Cacama, more believable about the sentinels, and less believable about Alvarado's Leap, so I'd call it a tie in that respect. And so, which account was simply more interesting? Prescott.
Prescott's Conquest of Mexico is every bit as good as Conquest of Peru. The book starts with a section on the Aztec civilization, then turns to Cortez and his men. These adventurers behaved as though they were invincible, they believed their faith in God made them so, and one almost comes to believe that they were as they beat unimaginable odds over and over and over again. I was on the edge of my seat through all three volumes.
No offense to Lewis & Clark (or Stephen Ambrose), but Prescott's Conquest of Mexico and Conquest of Peru make Undaunted Courage sound like a family picnic. Remarkable events told by a remarkable author. It's no wonder these books are still popular more than one and a half centuries after they were written.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the best historian of the Spanish conquest of the new world. William Prescott did so much research and drew upon so many sources. This is history at its finest. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bill Samuelson
I discovered this book at an old library while looking for sources for a research paper in high school. Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by jennifer
Superlative historian with excellent portrayal in almost real time. One of the best US historians. A classical piece of work already admired by many.Published on November 26, 2013 by Douglas L. Shepard
This 2 in 1 version is just right for the travellers flying all around. classic history of the europe and the latin america.Published on July 13, 2013 by Pen Name
Hernán Cortés is second only in history to Alexander the Great in courage and military audacity. Read morePublished on November 1, 2012 by Varalagom
Every author reflects the ethos of his time and place, and William Prescott is no exception. Nonetheless, Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico and History of the Conquest... Read morePublished on September 30, 2012 by Andrew S.E. Erickson
To tell the truth, I bought this book for the Peru section. I was very pleasantly surprised to fall in love again with the language of the Mexico section again after thinking it... Read morePublished on August 2, 2011 by Hopeful Mover
The writer has done an excellent job on presenting the true nature and level of the ability of the native people of Mexico and Peru. Read morePublished on October 23, 2009 by Karim Mansouri