In 1519 Hernán Cortés arrived on the shores of Mexico, determined not only to expand the Spanish empire but to convert the natives to Catholicism and carry off a fortune in gold. That he saw nothing paradoxical in his intentions is one of the most remarkable and tragic aspects of this unforgettable story.
In Tenochtitlán, Cortés met his Aztec counterpart, Montezuma: king, divinity, and commander of the most powerful military in the Americas. Yet in less than two years, Cortés defeated the entire Aztec nation in one of the most astounding battles ever waged.
The story of a lost kingdom, a relentless conqueror, and a doomed warrior, Conquistador is history at its most riveting.
©2008 Buddy Levy; (P)2008 Tantor
"Lively account of the Spanish conquest of Mexico." (Kirkus)
"Drawing heavily on both Spanish and Aztec sources...Levy gives a straightforward telling of the entire story.... Well-written.... Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
A book will worth your time. I found myself trying to figure out the "bad guys" and the "good guys" and realized that I couldn't do it. The human sacrifices revolted me but the treachery and greed of the Cortes expedition disgusted me. Anyone interested in the forces that transformed the Americas should get this book.
Buddy Levy's book is a well written documentary of the fate of the Aztec Empire. Patrick Lawlor, with the exception of his failed attempt at a Spanish accent, does a fine job reading the accounts of Cortez and his men as they conquer Tenochtitlan and claim Mexico for Spain.
I chose this book because I love history and knew NOTHING about Cortez except some vague high school history or Hollywood account of greedy Spaniards unnecessarily wiping out the poor, innocent Aztecs . Um. Not the whole story. Granted, the Aztecs were minding their own business when Cortez arrived - having built the largest civilization on the planet. Granted, there was the whole gold and greed thing, but there was also disgust for human sacrifice and roasted babies. Which was worse? This book does a great job of explaining how the whole conquering thing went down. The book was really good and the narrator did a good job. Other reviewers commented on his silly Spanish accent - and I agree. But, it made me snort/laugh every time I heard it - so that's not so bad, is it? I agree with another reviewer - I would have liked to have seen the wonders that Cortez saw.
Have you ever wondered how 200 Spaniards could conquer an established Mexican Empire of Millions?
You will be intrigued when you listen to this Audible Book and discover the answer.
You may find yourself putting your life on hold in your eagerness to learn what Mr. Levy has revealed.
The narrator Patrick Lawlor is an auditory genius equivalent to Einstein in the science of physics.
Paul Woodward, MD Napa, California
A fun read with a good narrator. I am not an expert on the subject, but it seemed the author did his homework. Too bad the Aztec capital no longer exists, it must have been something to see.
Sentient Being, Planet Earth
Unfortunately, the narration of this book was close to disrespectful. At times the voice of Cortez was nothing more than a very good immitation of "badges, badges, we don't need no stinkin badges" straight from the Treasure of Sierra Madre. In an almost schizophrenic manner, the narrator launched into this immitative harang at times when (laughable) authenticity was attempted. Ultimately, it was just plain irritating.
The great lessons and the great story is very much worth the purchase but this audio reading left much to be desired.
It seems the author did his job well in research, and the structure of the book content was very good but the narrator was a lousy selection, the name of the places and people was often pronounced three or four different ways because the narrator did not understand or did not know how to pronounce them and that was terrible. And every time he tried to do a Spanish accent he just sounded like someone with a sore throat. Because of that I did not enjoy this listen although I liked the book. Next time choose a narrator that understands or speaks the language he is trying to imitate.
Really, this is one of the very best history books of the Mexican Conquest i have found. If you want to know the details of the amazing conquest of Meso America by the lawyer, Cortez, listen to this book.
The amazing detail of the lives of the key players, both European and Indian, the detail of the strategy, the detail of the nature of the Indian lives and how quickly so many accepted the Spanish as the superior tribe. Also, the detail of the politics, Spanish, and Indian, that Cortez had to contend with and manage.
The telling of the story is so rich. it gives a 3D feel to the story.
My extreme reaction is: OMG these men were men! They truly were conquistatores, and yet they lived according to the laws of the times. I do not know anyone that could have done what they did, the living with constant expectation of death or mutilation, the constant physical and mental hardships, the hope of riches ( that did not happen for most of them) and the sense of adventure.
If you are interested in Mexican or Central American, or Spanish history, buy the book. If you are interested in the class of civilizations, buy the book. If you are interested in the nature of human behavior, buy the book.
Excellent book, it seems as if the author searched as much historical data as he could find. Any more detailed and you might as well have been there.
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