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The Discovery And Conquest Of Mexico Reprint Edition
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Vivid, eye-witness description of the whole story of the Conquest of Mexico in 1519 will rivet you to the pages, if you have even the slightest sense of history or desire to imagine strange events in faroff places. Here is the tale of how the Spanish soldiers, led by Cortés, despite tremendous odds, toppled an ancient civilization, destroying it utterly, and began a new society that would eventually become modern Mexico. Where else are you going to read words like these, describing the Spaniards' first arrival in Tenochtitlan, which would become Mexico City ? "When we saw so many cities and villages built both in the water and on dry land, and this straight, level causeway, we couldn't restrain our admiration. It was like the enchantments told about in the book of Amadis, because of the high towers, temples, and other buildings, all of masonry, which rose from the water. Some of our soldiers asked if what we saw was not a dream." Alliances, intrigues, battles, retributions, strange gods and the clash of utterly different cultures fill this amazing book. If you have any fondness for history, if you have any curiosity about vanished civilizations, if you would like to ponder about Fate with more substance than usual (!), then Bernal Díaz is your man. Do not pass this book by.
Although a lengthy narrative, the reader will find themself vehemently ripping through the pages of Bernal Diaz' reminiscences while anticipating the next turn of events. With a plethora of plot twists, there is never a sluggish moment.
Prior to his experiences with Cortes on the conquest of Mexico, Diaz gives us an account of his two previous expeditions with Cordova and Grijalva to the east coast of Central America from 1517-1518. Battles were fought, different cultures were found, and gold was discovered among the indigenous people. This beaconed the governor of Cuba to send Cortes to these lands for `settlement', with the fundamental motivation for the quest of riches.
We read of how Cortes and his men fought many battles on the trail to Montezuma's city of gold. Cortes was indeed a smooth talker, always attempting peace efforts first by making promises and talking flattery while distributing gifts to the Indian tribes he met along the way, all the time with the underlying theme of Christianity. This lead to a growing number of Indian allies, who for the most part had developed a deep-seated hatred for Montezuma due to his unmerciful plundering of villages for human sacrifices to please their gods. Cortez, after nearly losing main battles to overtake Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), finally comes in with 150,000 Indian allies to conquer the city of gold.
For the armchair adventure seeker, this book has it all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an amazing tale, as told by someone who was actually there... a must-read for any history buffs.Published 6 months ago by StorminN
Outstanding tale of a soldier who was there; it is what I consider the greatest adventure story of all time.Published 13 months ago by A. M. Steiner
super book, fascinating true history, not what is taught in modern, politically correct circles.Published 17 months ago by E. Klecan
If you want a slightly biased account of a great war by great, fierce and brave generals, this is a great story well told. Read morePublished on February 20, 2014 by Xman
This book was written by a man with a first-hand experience, as he was a foot soldier with Cortez. Castillo wrote HIS account after having read what he found to be an INACCURATE... Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by Susanna