América

The Epic Story of Spanish North America, 1493-1898
Narrated by: Thom Rivera
Length: 20 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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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

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    3 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.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Solid history from Conquistadors to Independence.

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

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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.

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  • Amazon customer
  • 03-07-20

A sumptuous production

This is a glorious recording of a wonderful book. The excellent narrator brings the sweeping, and endlessly fascinating content to life. I shall enjoy listening this again and again, learning something new each time.

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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.