Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle New Album - U2 Learn more Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer Review

on 7 August 2012
This is a book that has stuck in my mind for over a decade since first reading it. It's one of the essential, classic works on Mesoamerican civilization, and despite the passage of many years since its publication, it is still one of the most readable accounts of Aztec life. The focus of the book is on life in Tenochtitlan, supplemented with material on other Nahuatl-speaking cities (Texcoco, etc), and not on the archaeology or wider history of Mesoamerica. It is an intimate portrait rather than an overview, and as such it has lost little value over time. The details of the development of Aztec civilization as presented by Soustelle are broadly correct, and the understanding of everyday life can hardly have progressed over the decades, especially as most of our sources have remained the same (especially Bernardino de Sahagun). This works as an excellent primer on the Aztecs, and it would be a good choice for a world history or anthropology reading list. Reading this before embarking on Inga Clendinnen's or Caroline Dodds Pennock's more recent works will allow those latter to fill in the blanks and to flesh out the picture provided by Soustelle's easily-readable, erudite, fascinating book.

Soustelle was not simply interested in the Aztecs, and wrote several articles on non-Nahua topics, including Otomi life and society. This means that his account allows for the diversity of people who must have lived in and visited Tenochtitlan and the Valley of Mexico in pre-Cortesian times - and this really brings that world to life.

This is simply one of the best introductory works to any human civilization, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like this:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Product Details

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars