• América

  • The Epic Story of Spanish North America, 1493-1898
  • By: Robert Goodwin
  • Narrated by: Thom Rivera
  • Length: 20 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (83 ratings)

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América

By: Robert Goodwin
Narrated by: Thom Rivera
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Publisher's Summary

An epic history of the Spanish empire in North America from 1493 to 1898 by Robert Goodwin, author of Spain: The Centre of the World.   

At the conclusion of the American Revolution, half the modern United States was part of the vast Spanish Empire. The year after Columbus' great voyage of discovery, in 1492, he claimed Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for Spain. For the next 300 years, thousands of proud Spanish conquistadors and their largely forgotten Mexican allies went in search of glory and riches from Florida to California. Many died; few triumphed. Some were cruel; some were curious; some were kind. Missionaries and priests yearned to harvest Indian souls for God through baptism and Christian teaching.  

Theirs was a frontier world which Spain struggled to control in the face of Indian resistance and competition from France, Britain and finally the United States. In the 1800s, Spain lost it all.  

Goodwin tells this history through the lives of the people who made it happen and the literature and art with which they celebrated their successes and mourned their failures. He weaves an epic tapestry from these intimate biographies of explorers and conquerors, like Columbus and Coronado, but also lesser known characters, like the powerful Gálvez family, who gave invaluable and largely forgotten support to the American patriots during the Revolutionary War; the great Pueblo leader Popay; and Esteban, the first documented African American. Like characters in a great play or a novel, Goodwin's protagonists walk the stage of history with heroism and brio and much tragedy.

©2019 Robert Goodwin (P)2019 Audible, Ltd
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about América

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Narration That is Difficult to Follow

This book would be good for an academic studying Spanish history. As a casual read, I found the book very hard to follow. The book focuses on personalities rather than events, and the seemingly endless Spanish names and places pronounced by the narrator in a thick Spanish accent made the story very hard to understand. I was hoping to gain a better understanding of the evolution of Spanish ascent and decline in the new world, but instead found myself struggling to keep the hundreds of names straight. It probably would have been easier to understand in written rather than oral form. Unless you have a thorough working knowledge of the Spanish language, I would not recommend this book.

12 people found this helpful

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glitches in recording???

I thought i was imagining things but it keeps happening.. there seem to be many places where the text repeats.. I keep hearing the same thing twice. Without seeing the actual text of the book it's hard to figure out if there is some reason for this..

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Solid history from Conquistadors to Independence.

loved it. History fans will appreciate. Highly recommend. South America Not discussed in depth.

3 people found this helpful

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Not Regurgitated History

I got this book with a free credit then left it in my library for 3 years without listening to it. My worry was that I've read soooooo many books about Cortes and the Aztecs, Cabeza de Vaca's long journey in the Narvaez expedition, the conquest of Peru by Pizarro, etc that they all seem to run together and over each other with the same accounts after a while. After finally deciding to listen to this book I'm quite pleased that it has extensive accounts I've never heard before. It includes Juan Ponce de Leon's conquests in Puerto Rico and Florida, it has DeSoto's failed expedition into the American South, it has Coronado's expedition into Kansas, the Spanish expeditions into New Mexico, and beyond. It's a comprehensive book about all of them along the way. At a few points especially in the beginning it jumps forward and backward in time which might confuse some people, but other than that it generally starts at the beginning and goes forward through time. The book also compares different known accounts and questions the validity of some portions, which is interesting to hear. It's a much better book than I was expecting and if you like history and first contact stories this is definitely a book for you.

2 people found this helpful

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Very informative!

A very in-depth and detailed account of a largely forgotten period in American history! I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Spanish conquistadors and colonization of the New World, including in much of what became the modern United States.

1 person found this helpful

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Biased for your gaslighting pleasure

1st, the performance is excellent. The narrator does a very good job and cannot be faulted.

As for the rest of the book, it really is a polemic work masquerading as an academic work.

Don't read this bad book.

The position's a spouse by the author often are not causal by the premises provided. It is common for conclusions to be extremely partisan with no regard for contrary information provided by the author himself.

The initial summary of the history of the Spanish Empire begins especially with assumption of the evil intent of fortnite and Isabella, the evil of the Inquisition, and the rapacious mentality of the Spaniards.

In particular, the characterization of the medieval and Spanish inquisitions reflects an almost comedic misunderstanding of the institutions.

This work is particularly bad. It is long. And worse than simply not addressing issues, it provides a false context, partial information, and extraordinarily biased conclusions, not even supported by what evidence is provided.

This work is historical revisionism set to modern sensibilities.

I suggest not rewarding this author or his poor work.

Don't read this book.

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Important American history everyone should know

Well researched, balanced book, full of important facts and context that many schools have not enough time to teach.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shaun
  • 05-11-19

A fascinating history

This is a fascinating story. But the narrator really irritated me every time - and the word comes up frequently- he pronounces the Spanish royal Bourbon dynasty the same way you pronounce American whiskey i.e. "Burrban" ! Isn't there an editor to check on such things?

I could have done with much more on the end of the Spanish empire: it is only covered briefly in the Epilogue.

2 people found this helpful

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  • cath haye
  • 02-28-21

Excellent

A very interesting, informative and detailed history. Worth listening to, if a bit too detailed for a non-historian to keep up with at times.

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  • Garth Sturman
  • 05-15-19

History well examined

enjoyable to listen to and packed with numerous insights into the minds of the people involved.