The Conquest of Mexico Paperback – December 28, 2004
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- Paperback : 848 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1844137435
- Item Weight : 1.57 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 1844137430
- Dimensions : 5.03 x 1.55 x 7.75 inches
- Publisher : Pimlico (December 28, 2004)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The account of the Conquista is not only thorough and propperly documented, but also very enjoyable reading, which is not easy for a book on such a subject and with such a length. Despite my being acquainted with the historical facts as a Spaniard (though certainly distorted as they were taught to me),I found myself a lot of times sort of wondering what would happen next, and I do not mean the major events, but a lot more insight gathered for us and masterly explained by Mr. Thomas.
Read the book and you'll realize once more that all we do (and ever did) is to re-enact History. I guess the commanders of the empires or would-be empires of our time could make good use of the lessons in here.
I wish Mr. Thomas would write a book alike on the conquest of Perú.
Top reviews from other countries
What a disappointment!. The author is pedantic up to the point of making the book barely readable. He has to cram as many details as possible in one sentence, even if these details are totally irrelevant. Here’s an example “For Cortes, the memory of El-Andalus has been maintained by the shadow of the great castle of Medellin (originally built by the Moors: had not the ferocious Countess Beatriz imprisoned her son in the Moorish well?), as by the presence of an active Moorish minority, whose annual November fair was held in a street close to where he had himself been born”. This comes from the chapter describing the first days on Cortes in Tenochtitlan. How is it relevant for the conquest of Mexico that Moorish fairs used to be held on November or that a certain Countess imprisoned her son in a well????
Similarly in the first chapters of the book, the author cannot mention a Conquistador without giving his full CV, a short description of his hometown and whenever possible an anecdote about his grand-father! We have pages after pages of excruciatingly boring backgrounds of minor characters.
The problem is that important milestones of the conquest are buried under loads of insignificant details. The battles with the Tlaxcalas are for instance each described in half a page only. Additionally there is little analysis of the events from the author. He just throws as much information as possible just to show off how knowledgeable he is about this period.
It might be relevant for an academic but I had to put it aside after 293 pages of sheer tortureand boredom. I tried to go back to it but couldn’t.