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Voice of the Vanquished: The Story of the Slave Marina and Hernan Cortes Paperback – June, 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review said in his "Reviewer's Bookwatch" (December 1997): "VOICE OF THE VANQUISHED is a saga of Homeric proportions as its central character Marina survives, evolves and grows into one of the most memorable characters in recent literature. Author Helen Gordon has a lyrical and epic quality to her writing that is as impressive as it is engaging." -- Book Review

About the Author

Helen Heightsman Gordon, Ed. D., has published five textbooks, two books of light verse and poetry, plus numerous articles and humor pieces for newspapers and magazines. In 1998 she founded Anacade International, a publisher of educational books and games marketing to English-speaking countries over the Internet. She lives in Santa Barbara, California, where she continues to write humor, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Editions; 1st edition (June 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560025301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560025306
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,997,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a must book for historical buffs seeking an understanding of how a few hundred Spaniards conquered tens of thousands in Mexico. Based on carefully researched historical fact, Helen Gordon develops a plausible story of what motivated a remarkable young Indian woman, Marina/Mallinali, to help Cortez conquer the ruling Aztecs. Gordon provides the reader with a clear picture of how Cortez, with the translating skills of Marina, was able to turn Indian groups under Aztec domination against the Aztecs, resulting in the end of Aztec rule in Mexico and the beginning of the Spanish empire in the Americas. In this epic worthy of Homer, Gordon shows how the skills of these two remarkable people, Cortes and Marina, blended to forever change the course of history in the Americas. Gordon set out to show that women too play a major role in shaping human destiny. In my opinion, she succeeded well. I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to those interested in both Spanish and Mexican history.
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I got interested in Marina from a Discovery special on the Spanish Conquisitors and sought more information. Voice of the Vanquished by Helen Gordon was one of the few books I found but I'm glad I did. She brings this amazing story to life in such a vivid manner despite so little historical information.
Many times I couldn't put this book down, as often it brought tears to my eyes pondering these people and events. Marina certainly was one of the most facinating and misunderstood women in all of history. If more people heard her story it would certainly be the subject of a grand Hollywood production it is that amazing. I honestly don't know how she has escaped attention for so long.
Read this book and you'll understand.
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Format: Paperback
Author Helen Gordon skillfully inserts us into the pre-conquest days when the Aztecs ruled many subdued tribes in the Valley of Mexico. For me, VOICE OF THE VANQUISHED provided an eye-opening reinterpretation of the conquest of Mexico by Hernan Cortes and his small band. Customs, religion, social order of the indigenous peoples are vividly re-created in the lives of fictional villagers who must endure the arrogant demands of the Aztec priests for human sacrifice and tribute. Gordon's portrait of the historical character Malinalli/Marina, drawn from 16th Century Spanish sources and codices of Aztec artists, shows her to be a young woman of intelligence, beauty and ourage. Following her wise father's admonition: "Never yearn for something you cannot have," Marina grasps at what few options she does have. The astonishing result is that she becomes an interpreter and major advisor for Cortes, helping him to form alliances with enemies of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II. The portrait of Hernan Cortes, drawn from historical documents including his own reports, reveals him to be much more complex than just a cruel and insensitive conqueror. He becomes an understandable and admirable -- though flawed -- man of his time. I felt a fresh breeze of truth and the warm sun of added knowledge in this history in fiction form.
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Format: Paperback
As I have learned more over the years about Mexico's tragic history, I have wondered how Cortez was able to pull off his arrogant, audacious conquest and felt without Marina, he would have been dead in the water. Then the question - what motivated Marina/Mallinali? H. Gordon using painstaking research and imaginative writing, puts a face and a personality to this remarkable women and gives us helpful insights and understanding into this tumultuous period of world history. Since, unfortunately, video cameras and audio taped interviews were not available in 1519, we will have to rely on works such as, "Voice of the Vanquished" to help us appreciate these pivotal events.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first heard the story of Marina on a Discovery special about the Spanish conquests and was hooked and thirsty for more.
After searching I found this book and ordered it.
What a great read! Rarely do historical charactors come alive and inspire us as much as this one did for me.
I suspected Marina was a facinating woman but thanks to Helen Gordon I know.
How this story of an 18 year old Indian slave girl who was almost certainly singularly responsible for Cortes' success escaped attention I don't know.
Marina had to be one of the most intelligent and clever people who ever lived to pull off her feats.
Get this book and enjoy a story you'll never forget.
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