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Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge Latin American Studies) 2nd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521527316
ISBN-10: 0521527317
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Clendinnen's elegantly written work describes the devastating effects of Spanish conquest and settlement on the politically fragmented Maya of the Yucatan until 1570.... Her account of the 1562 investigation into Maya religious practices and the political conflicts that accompanied it makes fascinating reading." Choice

"This is a splendid book by a gifted historian. With great subtlety and imagination, Inga Clendinnen draws us into the swirls of missteps, ambitions, deceptions, and fantasies that constituted the conquest drama in Yucatan....Clendinnen has written a remarkably powerful and compelling book....This study ranks among the very best scholarship on the region and will dazzle any serious student of native American peoples, Christian missionaries, and colonial situations." American Historical Review

Book Description

This is both a specific study of conversion in a corner of the Spanish Empire, and a work with implications for the understanding of European domination and native resistance throughout the colonial world. Dr. Clendinnen explores the intensifying conflict between competing and increasingly divergent Spanish visions of Yucatan and its destructive outcomes. She seeks to penetrate the ways of thinking and feeling of the Mayan Indians in a detailed reconstruction of their assessment of the intruders.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Latin American Studies (Book 61)
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (April 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521527317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521527316
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Harry Littell on August 2, 2008
Format: 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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Format: 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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By btrimble on September 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As described, provided quick service.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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