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Publisher's Summary

For hundreds of years, the history of the conquest of Mexico and the defeat of the Aztecs has been told in the words of the Spanish victors. Miguel León-Portilla has long been at the forefront of expanding that history to include the voices of indigenous peoples. In this new and updated edition of his classic The Broken Spears, León-Portilla has included accounts from native Aztec descendants across the centuries. These texts bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of an oral tradition that preserves the viewpoints of the vanquished instead of the victors. León-Portilla's new postscript reflects upon the critical importance of these unexpected historical accounts.

©1990 Beacon Press, Expanded and Updated Edition 1992 by Miguel Leon-Portilla (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about The Broken Spears

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learning new information

this book was great and made it easier for me to understand my class. the narrator was great.

4 people found this helpful

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A credit to mexican history and heritage

Unfortunately, because Catholicism is still such a huge religion, most people don't understand the Aztecs and their story. The only information people can find is usually based on official Spanish accounts, which are obviously biased and written to justify their act of conquest as a credit to their god and king. This book tells the real story of what happened from native accounts and should be taken very seriously. The Aztecs were a mighty empire who were taken by a mysterious foreign visitor, who they could not truly comprehend at first. You can compare this to what it would be like if the mighty United States were subdued by an alien invader who we welcomed as "The second coming of christ" because it fit the description. This book truly shows what it was like to be an Aztec and what it was like to be there during the conquest. This is a forgotten history and I truly believe this book should be required reading in highschoold. Unfortunately, modern education only glances over the Aztecs' story and only goes off the Spanish version for history. If you have even the slightest interest in great empires of the past, or any interest in Mexican history, I highly recommend that you read this book or get it on Audible... Also, the narrator has an amazing voice and he pronounces the Spanish and Nahuatl (Aztec) words perfectly.

3 people found this helpful

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This book is perfect!

The actual truth about what really happened in Mexico and the lies our teachers told us in Mexico. Lies and more lies always glorifying the Spaniards, now, I am an American, I was born in Mexico but my grandparents are from Spain but the truth must be told and this book tell us how exactly things happened by the victims, the Aztecs, eventhough people didn't know they were capable of writing the events, attacks that happened to them, come on, they created 365 day calendar. I love history and I love this book!

7 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

Wish I would have read it before going to Mexico City this in combination of the book... Conquistidors... give insight to the conquer of the Aztecs ..

2 people found this helpful

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A high school must required

Apart from our history that we need to know. A masterpiece of archaeological - forensic investigation

1 person found this helpful

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Great except for pronunciation of Nahuatl words

Would definitely recommend giving it a listen. I really liked it, except for the narrator’s pronunciation of Nahuatl words. I cringed every time he said “Mexica” or incorrectly pronounced the -tl sound. Besides that, it was great. Even with that flaw, I’d recommend it.

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epic

this was beyond epic. glad I got to hear about my ancestors from their point of view

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History is Usually Written by the Winners

But Leon-Portilla did an excellent job searching through Aztec texts to find the native's account of the war with Cortes. It was interesting to hear writing in the Aztec's style rather than what is commonplace today. I was surprised with how strong the imagery was.
I don't know any more about the Aztecs than what little I remember from my high school lessons. This book starts at a slightly higher level of understanding than I already had. Specifically, many different cities are referred to, and I don't know where they are or if they're part of the Aztec empire. The author would also summarize the events at the start of the chapter before quoting Aztec texts, and that redundancy would confuse me about the chronology of the events, especially since I couldn't see quotation marks or headings.
The performance was a bit slow. I had to listen to it at 1.1x speed.

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Excellent first hand account of a Spanish extermin

Wow rarely do we hear the voice of the defeated culture.. so sad what was lost due to greed for gold. Montezuma really wanted the Spanish to be Gods.....not hogs

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A Revolutionary Act

Essential reading for everybody. A massive blow to colonialism and its stranglehold over the historical narrative.