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The Other 1492: Ferdinand, Isabella, and the Making of an Empire  By  cover art

The Other 1492: Ferdinand, Isabella, and the Making of an Empire

By: Teofilo F. Ruiz,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Teofilo F. Ruiz
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Publisher's Summary

Ask anyone about the significance of the year 1492, and you're almost certain to hear something about Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the New World. But there is also a perspective on 1492 far different than the one most of us know - one that is more complete and complex. A 1492 when there was no country called Spain and no language called Spanish. A 1492 whose biggest event - in the region that would eventually become Spain - was the surrender of the last Muslim stronghold, Granada, with the subsequent Edict of Expulsion that gave Jews three months to either convert to Christianity or leave the Kingdom of Castile and the Crown of Aragon.

This 12-lecture series uses the year 1492 to examine the events that made Spain a country and an empire. It examines the centuries of developments that led up to that pivotal year in Spanish history and the consequences that followed for both Spain and the New World, presenting Spanish history from the perspective of both the victors and the defeated: the Muslims, Jews, and New World natives for whom 1492 was not a time of wonder but of terror and despair.

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 listeners say about The Other 1492: Ferdinand, Isabella, and the Making of an Empire

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Great background for Latin American developments

Any additional comments?

Prof. Ruiz does a great job of explaining how diverse Spain was at the time that Ferdinand and Isabella united the Iberian peninsula (he discusses regional and religious differences) and how that diversity continued and shaped "Spanish" policy. In particular, he does an excellent job explaining the policy differences pursued in Castille and Aragon.

I also have to say that Prof. Ruiz's lectures were first time I have really heard the history behind the development of the latifundio system and the office of the corregidor (two key concepts for understanding Latin American history). Usually, books about Latin America give these concepts short shrift and simply note "they came from Spain". Hearing why they were developed and what their function was in various parts of Spain was very enriching.

¡Ha hecho usted un excelente trabajo, profe!

9 people found this helpful

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An extraordinary history about the truth of 1492

Great attention to separating the myth of the discovery with the reality. The not so glamorous creation of a world wide empire by chance, fate and a lot of luck. And it all started with the Reconquest of a peninsula facing the Atlantic Ocean. One of my favorite audible books in my history books collection because so much detail, and trivia facts, that makes the discovery of America parallel to the first moon landing. Professor Ruiz is so engaging in his love for separating the fictional accounts from reality that you don't want him to stop. What was made popular in movies and schools is shown against the not so glamorous truth, most times without Hollywood-LIKE happy endings. I hope he continues this into a series!

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed listening to this lecture and plan to listen to it a second time as well. There is a wealth of information. Some listeners may not like all the context he provides, but I did.

4 people found this helpful

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Facinating details of a rich history of the past

The narrator was wonderful in how he presents this wonderful rich history
great detail and wonderful experiances presented.

3 people found this helpful

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hard to follow.

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz?

Great Courses yes, Professor Ruiz no.

Has The Other 1492: Ferdinand, Isabella, and the Making of an Empire turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz?

Yes

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, l like the topic, the delivery is bad, also the ongoing effort to talk about his other works is trite.

3 people found this helpful

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too biased

everything was going fine until the lecturer reached the subject of Columbus. Wow...this guy hates Columbus, unfortunately to the point I actually felt sorry for the lecturer to let a historical figure irritate you that much.

2 people found this helpful

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A true picture of 15th century Spain

Professor Ruiz, masterfully weaves political, cultural and sociological components of 1492 Spain and into the early 16th century. He addresses the obvious parts of history we know but also a few of the uncomfortable yet necessary contradictions in how the Spanish monarchy dealt with religion, regional challenges and the new world.

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Really informative

Professor Ruiz is a true expert and his lectures are very clear. He does have a Spanish accent, but you get used to it after a while and, of course, it's to be expected since this is about Spanish history. I wish it were not so short and that he had time to discuss in greater depth some important events that only get touched upon here, such as the Inquisition. But it's a great introduction and provides a good background for further research.

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Terrible narrator

Narrator's background / resume disqualifies him to speak of such a complex world changing subject it just blew my mind to hear him speak of events with overwhelming proof to be myths

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land of my forebears

I really appreciated this truthful explanation of Spain's history! Helped me understand the politics of today and the past that Spain brought to the Western Hemisphere. Supposedly, one of my ancestors fought with El Cid. I've been interested in the "Reconquest" ever since learning this. However, I would have loved knowing more about Isabella's fight skills..

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  • cath haye
  • 09-13-18

excellent

A great listen. Opened up new avenues to explore and
makes me want to learn more.

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  • XSPonder
  • 03-18-22

Excellent slice of history

I was happy to spend a few hours immersed in this well-told story of Spain's triumph and tragedy up to, during and just beyond the pivotal years at the end of the 15th C. Professor Ruiz was a great guide along the way, his enthusiasm for his subject was engaging and it was over far too soon. For anyone interested in Spanish history this is highly recommended.