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The Aztecs 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0631230168
ISBN-10: 0631230165
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Of the many overviews of the Aztecs, such as those by Brian Fagan (The Aztecs, 1984) and Robert Townsend (The Aztecs, LJ 5/15/92), this is the first to break from the traditional focus on the nobility and on urban life in Tenochtitlan. Within the framework provided by the chronicles and by monument archaeology, Smith (Architectural Research of Aztec-Period Rural Sites in Morelos, Mexico, Vol. 1, Univ. of Pittsburgh, 1992) summarizes the results of archaeological research conducted largely in the past 30 years into the everyday lives of ordinary people in the villages, hamlets, and farmsteads from many regions of central Mexico. His method permits a fresh view of such topics as agricultural methods, population size, market system, relations between city-states and the empire, and even human sacrifice. Smith carries his social account of these people through transformation under Spanish rule and their legacy in modern Mexico. This most comprehensive survey to date on the Aztecs belongs in libraries interested in Pre-Columbian America.?William S. Dancey, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Smith provides a compelling reinterpretation of the standard history of the Aztec empire. Based upon archaeological research conducted during the past 15 years, rather than on subjective chronicles recorded by conquering Spaniards, this revisionist analysis offers a fresh perspective on the political, cultural, and social institutions and mores of the Aztecs. Detailed accounts of the Aztec approach to government, design, urban planning, economics, science, religion, the arts, and literature are also included. In addition, the author offers both an examination of the inevitable destruction and demise of the Aztec empire and a dynamic overview of the modern impact of the Aztec legacy. A significant contribution to the history of an impressive society of Native Americans. Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (November 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631230165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631230168
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,389,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael E. Smith is an archaeologist specializing in the Aztecs and Teotihuacan in Mexico. In recent years he has branched out to work on comparative urbanism: comparisons of ancient and modern cities, and studies of urban life through the ages. He has published a bunch of technical books on his excavations; for a more general audience, see his upcoming popular book, At Home with the Aztecs, or his popular textbook, The Aztecs.

Dr. Smith is Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University, and Director of the ASU Teotihuacan Research Laboratory. Visit his website at http://www.public.asu.edu/~mesmith9/.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent summary book on Aztec civilization. Well organized and written clearly, this book is distinguished from prior overviews by its integration of archaelogical information that has permitted some understanding of the life of the majority of Aztec commoners. Smith covers Aztec history, the physical and ecological basis of their society, agriculture and economy, art and religion, and the organization of Aztec polities. The book is illustrated well. This is definitely the best single book I have read on this topic and has an excellent bibliography for those wishing to pursue the literature in depth. This book is part of the Peoples of America series published by Blackwell. I've read another book in this series, The Incas by D'Altroy, which is first rate. The publishers deserve a pat on the back for producing this highly informative series.
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Format: Paperback
I'm an engineer, not a historian or archeologist, yet I very much enjoyed this book. It didn't get boring, and made learning about the life of the Aztecs interesting. It was scholarly yet accessible.
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Format: Paperback
I've read a few books on Aztecs and this one is somewhat unique in that in addition to using textual sources, it gives a good deal of focus to the archaeolgical record as well. This perspective gives a fuller view of Aztec society as a whole, and illuminates the lives of commoners as well as those of nobles. This perspective, along with Smith's expertly and well written explanation of the Archaeology behind this perspective is fascinating. That is why this book is so keen. Also the pics are pretty nifty as well.
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Format: Paperback
This Book is well organized, illustrated and written. The various aspects of Aztec Civilization and History are organized into seperate Chapters, making this Book both, a good Introduction and Reference Book. A look at the Bibliography reaveals all the right sources. Scholarly, yet accessible.
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By Jake on March 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
this book is well written, giving thorough scholarly information from archeaology and ethnohistoric accounts youll learn from their early migration to the mesoamerican valley to the landing of cortes and even how the aztec nahuatl culture lives on in modern mexico.

michael smith does a great job on delving into the life of the commoners, the nobles and tlatoani.

while maintaining the contentious and often ambigous nature of ancient history this author does a great job at trying to piece it all together from multiple historical accounts.
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Format: Hardcover
A good modern study of the Ancient Aztecs. Presents a broad overall view of Aztec life and culture. Based on modern scientific insights, yet without becoming boring.
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