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The Conquistadors: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 23 Feb 2012

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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 Fernández-Armesto is William P. Reynolds Professor of History, University of Notre Dame.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Conquering the Conquistador 18 Jan. 2012
By M.Z. Christensen - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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.
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.
A great read; Matthew Restall is an excellent writer and ... 7 Aug. 2014
By Marta E. Lujan - Published on
Format: Paperback
A great read; Matthew Restall and Felipe Fernández-Armesto are excellent writers and historians. Very interesting arguments challenging received views about the character of the conquistadors, while presenting a more realistic picture of the men who carried out the so-called conquest of America.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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