The legacy of imperial Spain was shaped by many hands. Chief among them was the towering figure of King Philip II, the cultivated Spanish monarch whom a contemporary once called "the arbiter of the world". Cheerful and pious, he inherited vast authority from his father but felt himself unworthy to wield it. His 42-year reign changed the face of the globe forever.
Alongside Philip we find the entitled descendants of New Spain's original explorers - men who, like their king, came into possession of land they never conquered and wielded supremacy they never sought. Here too are the Roman Catholic religious leaders of the Americas, whose internecine struggles created possibilities that the emerging Jesuit order was well positioned to fill. With the sublime stories of arms and armadas, kings and conquistadors come tales of the ridiculous: the opulent parties of New Spain's wealthy hedonists and the unexpected movement to encourage Philip II to conquer China.
Finally, Hugh Thomas unearths the first indictments of imperial Spain's labor rights abuses in the Americas - and the early attempts by its more enlightened rulers and planters to address them. Written in the brisk, flowing narrative style that has come to define Hugh Thomas' work, the final volume of this acclaimed trilogy stands alone as a history of an empire making the transition from conquest to inheritance - a history that Thomas reveals through the fascinating lives of the people who made it.
©2014 Hugh Thomas (P)2015 Tantor
"A sweeping, encyclopedic history of the arrogance, ambition, and ideology that fueled the quest for empire." (Kirkus)
I have read four books from Mr. Thomas. Conquest, Cuba, Rivers of Gold, Charles V , this is my first audiobook.
Any one who has read one of his books knows that there will be wealth of references to people and places and quotes, all in Spanish. Almost half the book is in Spanish as expected.
How is it possible then that Random/ Pinguin and Mr. Thomas would agree to launch an audiobook read by a narrator who doesn't speak a word of Spanish??
has no notion of how spanish letters are pronounced to be able to read them. Not even the right pronunciation of country names like Chile! Then slows down to a attempt to pronounce each word distracting rhe listener from the flow.
Not the narrrators fault if there was no evaluation by the author or publisher. He actually has a nice voice in english. But zero quality control from the author or the publisher! Have they listened to the book? Very disappointing! Not a good experience at all.
A thorough and fair account of the Spanish conquest, although it never really comes alive. Ruined by a wooden narrative with mispronunciation of just about every word that can be mangled. How could Audible.com release a version this bad? I've never seen anything like it.
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