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Publisher's Summary

Was Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas in 1492 the most important event in the history of the world?

Professor Eakin's provocative answer is a resounding "Yes" - as he presents his case in an intriguing series of 24 lectures. He argues that the voyage gave birth to the distinct identity of the Americas today by creating a collision between three distinct cultures - European, African, and Native American - that radically transformed the view of the world on both sides of the Atlantic. These thoughtful lectures will remind you that when Columbus completed his voyage, he found a people unlike any he had ever known, living in a land unmentioned in any of the great touchstones of Western knowledge. You'll learn how the European world, animated by the great dynamic forces of the day, Christianity and commercial capitalism, reacted to Columbus's discovery with voyages of conquest-territorial, cultural, and spiritual - throughout the New World. And you'll see the traumatic consequences - not only for the native peoples of the Americas, but for the people of Africa, as well, millions of whom had their lives altered by the transatlantic slave trade that resulted. Yet these lectures are far more than an account of heroes and villains, or victors and victims. They form a dramatic, sweeping tale of the complex blending of three peoples into one-forming new societies and cultures that were neither European, African, nor Native American, but uniquely American. While Professor Eakin readily identifies his own interpretation of events, he generously showcases competing views, and you'll benefit enormously from the many works he cites for further study.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Not a Great Course, not even a good one

What would have made Conquest of the Americas better?

The Professor needs to seriously re-check his scholarship. Minor errors in facts might fly in a lecture, but not in a recorded medium. Tecun Umam was not the leader of the Quiche Kingdom. The concept of "race" is not wholly divorced from biology, although it remains a cultural construct.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not another course by Eakin.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Yes, the course needs a narrator. Eakin stumbles over this words, stammers through his narration, and tries to land awkward jokes. He is not a talented narrator.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Few. The lecture on the Jesuits was not bad.

Any additional comments?

This is not a course on the "Conquest of the Americas." It is a course on 16th to 18th century European colonialism in the Americas. While somewhat related, colonialism is not conquest. They are not equivalent terms. The course needs to focus on the military encounters between Spain and the high cultures of Central and South America and their missteps in the Caribbean. The course needs an expert in that field, not a Brazilian historian.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

Where does Conquest of the Americas rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best.

What did you like best about this story?

The pace of the narrator's voice and the passion for the thoughts he delivers.

What does Professor Marshall C. Eakin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Passion for the discipline he teaches.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The title.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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a new perspective for me

What made the experience of listening to Conquest of the Americas the most enjoyable?

Having realized that I knew a lot of European history, and that I knew next to nothing about Central and South America, I thought this course would be a good listen. And I was rewarded many times over. History I knew but only in a narrow context, people I'd heard of but not in any solid context, and events also, came together in a worldwide story. I kept thinking "of course!" as the course unfolded. Having now been to Central and South America quite a few times, this course has really added a great deal to my appreciation of all the Americas, North to South, and how, when and why we all got here, and more interestingly, how our history has been shaped.

What does Professor Marshall C. Eakin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His personal experience(s) in the area.

Any additional comments?

I can't give the book 5 stars because of the annoying canned applause at the end and beginning of each chapter.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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What an amazing lecture

The structure and depth of this lecture is hands down one of the best. If I had any criticism it would be I would have liked a little more attention paid to Ango and Franco America with respect to Latin America. The last three chapters leave something to be desired, but overall this is a masterpiece!

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It was alright

it was okay overall, however, it was still a biased point of view. there is

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Great presentation of an interesting topic

Any additional comments?

This course is great as it covers topics relating to both South and North America. It was great understanding the connections the lectures made between the indigenous people and the European people upon first contact and how those relations evolved into the people/races/countries we know now. I would recommend the other lecture series "Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed" as a companion to this course.

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Highly engaging

Very absorbing, impassioned, logical, and a great voice. The professor brings across to us a real sense of the people and worlds he's recounting.

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FANTASTIC

This 500 year narrative was so enriching to the mind and soul . To hear the true history of where we all came from and how we became and what we are today is amazing. The lecturer had a wealth of information and delivered so eloquently. Thank you.

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  • mr
  • 02-14-15

Good

Very good, peaks early on. And I have fifteen words to use in order to press the submit button, cheers

1 of 4 people found this review helpful