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The Conquistadors: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Paperback]

Matthew Restall , Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

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Book Description

23 Feb 2012 Very Short Introductions
With startling speed, Spanish conquistadors invaded hundreds of Native American kingdoms, took over the mighty empires of the Aztecs and Incas, and initiated an unprecedented redistribution of the world's resources and balance of power. They changed the course of history, but the myth they established was even stranger than their real achievements. This Very Short Introduction deploys the latest scholarship to shatter and replace the traditional narrative. Chapters explore New World civilizations prior to the invasions, the genesis of conquistador culture on both sides of the Atlantic, the roles black Africans and Native Americans played and the consequences of the invasions. The book reveals who the conquistadors were and what made their adventures possible.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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The Conquistadors: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) + The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) + North American Indians: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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[a] sparkling little book ... Richly packed with maps, sources and intriguing nuggets of information. (BBC History Magazine)

About the Author

Matthew Restall is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Latin American History and Director of Latin American Studies, Pennsylvania State University. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto is William P. Reynolds Professor of History, University of Notre Dame.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conquering the Conquistador 18 Jan 2012
By M.Z. Christensen - Published on
This well-researched, concise book provides the reader with an introduction to European conquistadors. Both authors have published widely on the topic and their expertise shines through in the work. By placing the motives, writings, and actions of various conquistadors (mainly Spanish) in historical context, the work demystifies the image of such figures as Hernan Cortes. In short, the book conquers the larger-than-life image of conquistadors to allow the reader a more accurate view of not only who the conquistadors truly were, but how we came to view them the way we do. The work is insightful, well-written, and an enjoyable read overall.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre 6 Oct 2012
By carrollk - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was disappointing. I expected more time to be spent on the more famous conquistadors such as Cortez, Pizzaro, Coronado (wasn't even mentioned), DeSoto (briefly mentioned), etc. It actually covers the society that created the conquistadors and many conquistadors I never heard of. There must have been thousands of them. You did not have to be successful to be a conquistador and many were not.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great as a reference 11 Dec 2012
By bassboy - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent quick reference about the conquistadors. I do not agree with all of the authors theories about the interactions between native peoples and the Spanish, but all sides need to tell it the way they see it.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction! 6 July 2012
By S. A Mcclennen - Published on
This is a fascinating, quick read. The books in this series are a great way to learn about complex and important topics --fast! This book is a great addition to the series and the authors do a fabulous job of making the text accessible and informative.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but fascinating 8 Mar 2013
By Timothee de Saint-Albin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the kindle edition of the book, which is pretty poor, but it's hardly the authors' fault.
This book is NOT a compilation of stories of conquistadores: if you want some specifics about Cortes or Ponce de Leon, choose another one. The book is roughly divided in three parts. The first one is a kind of sociology of the Conquistadors (and strangely enough Conquistadoras, Black conquistadors, Indian conquistadors...). The second one tries to explain the improbable success of the Spanish conquistadors in the America. Knowing that Spain, when the Conquista started, was far from being the most advanced civilization in Europe, which wasn't itself the most advanced in the world, by the authors' account. The conclusions of the book are sometimes disturbing but never lack a strong scientific rigour.
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