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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary history at its best, 12 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Conquest of Mexico (Paperback)
To those who have a passing interest in Mexico and the Spanish conquest, this book cannot be too highly recommended. It is amazingly thorough, is based on incredibly wide-ranging research, and is written with an elegance and grace which belies the extraordinary welter of facts through which Thomas has to sift.
The character and personalities of all the various players come to the fore, and Thomas also does an excellent job of conveying the atmosphere of those times, as well as in adding little details like the weather and the scenery to give a real sense of what those terrible years were like.
In short, this is just a brilliant book - balanced, authoritative, erudite, and surprisingly moving - if you have any interest in Mexico you should read it. It is probably the best work of history that I have read.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Detailed yet readable. Dispels the myths., 1 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Conquest of Mexico (Paperback)
Thomas is an extraordinairily accesible historian.
Although a little slow in the first two chapters, which Thomas uses to set out the background of the Spaniards in Cuba & Hispaniola, this is a brilliant account of the conquest of the Aztecs by Hernan Cortes. Thomas' research is complete and he does an excellent job of explaining how so few subjugated so many. Thomas makes a great job of weeding out the chaff from the other accounts you might be familiar with.
Rich with relevant context (politics back in Spain, the economics of the Carribean, legal issues to do with the classification of the native indians) this account is probably the best ever written. It makes an excellent story, even though the approach is thorough and absolutely non-fictional.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning book, moving and accessible, 8 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Conquest of Mexico (Hardcover)
I lived in Mexico for 14 years and most of the foreign correspondents read this book as a grounding in the country they were working in. I did not read it at the time but now back in the UK with two Mexican children it is invaluable for our ability to understand Mexican history. Thomas explains the conquest in a way that shows respect to the great empire that was based in Tenochtitlan before the Spanish invaders took over. But it also conveys the courage and determination of the Spanish conquerors. It is easy to read, so much so that I look forward to my 13 year old son peeking into it pretty soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Conquest of Mexico, 15 Feb. 2011
By 
Miguel Zaldo - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Conquest of Mexico (Paperback)
Like all of Hugh Thomas's books it is rich in details and anecdotes. It also has the merit of being, in what I believe, quite objective in treating some parts of history which are not free of some polemic. The book is long and well documented but enjoyable if you are enthusiastic of history. I did miss some more details of the pre-Columbian history, but I guess that's not the main subject of the book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 20 Dec. 2009
By 
Ste to the J (Mansfield England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Conquest of Mexico (Paperback)
The Conquest of Mexico was a historical event and also a book i have been reading, handily enough i recommend the book as a way into a fascinating subject. Here be the review.

Don't let the huge number of pages(848) put you off, this is a very readable and thoroughly researched account of the events leading upto the conquest and the inevitability of the action of conquest. But first to the beginning. Parts 1 and 2 of the book involve the backgrounds of the two civilizations. For the Mexica(Aztecs) the focus is on the subjugation of and subsequent trade with other people in and around the valley of Mexico and also the domestic classes of people and the Gods which they worship. The religious set up is especially fascinating if you like your myths as the stories mentioned in the book rival anything from ancient Greece or Mesopatamia.The Spanish chapter focuses more on the capture of the outlying island of the Caribbean and and the first explorations and meetings with the indigenous peoples of the Yacutan and Totanacs.

The next six parts of the book are a tragic essay on the ignorance, greed and violence that seems to perforate human society. The clash of cultures,the sheer naivety( don't know how r to do an `I' with two dots over it) from both sides and the show of colonialism on a new continent show an age that has messages that still resonate today but have seemingly not be learnt.Of course hindsight helps to judge this but i digress.

The first two parts were a bit of a challenge to get through but after that it's an epic read, the sheer amount of facts that are included coupled with the high readability and extremely well researched subject matter make this an authoritative book that anyone with a passing interest(and a bit of time) would do well to read.
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The Conquest of Mexico
The Conquest of Mexico by Hugh Thomas (Paperback - 6 Oct. 1994)
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