Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs kindle pdf – Sisnlaw.co.uk


Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs Traveling from Veracruz to Mexico City is not a major journey unless you do it on foot, wearing full metal armor, offroad without good maps, and with thousands of ferocious warriors trying to kill you Who would attempt this Only one guy Buddy Levy s book Conquistador allows us to march alongside one of history s most insanely courageous leaders Hernan Cortes.The book compels readers eagerly down this deadly road for God, gold and glory Despite an avalanche of facts, the complexities of we Traveling from Veracruz to Mexico City is not a major journey unless you do it on foot, wearing full metal armor, offroad without good maps, and with thousands of ferocious warriors trying to kill you Who would attempt this Only one guy Buddy Levy s book Conquistador allows us to march alongside one of history s most insanely courageous leaders Hernan Cortes.The book compels readers eagerly down this deadly road for God, gold and glory Despite an avalanche of facts, the complexities of weapons, battles, alliances and negotiations are made clear without slowing the riveting drama.The narrative documents three controversial propositions 1 Hernan Cortes was a military genius of Napoleonic or Alexanderic magnitude He pulled off an incredibly ballsy, nearly impossible feat, regardless of how we view it ethically.2 This wasn t a simple confrontation between Europeans and Natives What Cortez orchestrated was a new world civil war, pitting Aztecs against oppressed neighbors, who hated them enough to fight bravely with Cortes as the lesser of two evils.3 Despite foul hypocrisy and kindergarden theology, Hernan is to the Americas what Constantine is to Europe a bloody apostle who spread the Word with the help of swords and prophetic visions Constantine saw a cross in the sky by which he d conquer Montezuma saw a kingdom from across the sea by which he d be conquered These two omens helped propel an Asian called Jesus into a global faith If you doubt the long term religious influence of the cruel Cortes, consider my recent experience Visiting a remote Chinantec village in Mexico, I commented on what looked like a Day of the Dead altar Villagers rebuked me insisting We are Catholics, this is an All Saints Day altar, and Day of the Dead is pagan necromancy Point taken To say Hernan Cortes was merely a marauder with no spiritual impact is to say you haven t traveled Latin America much Admire him or hate him, this guy matters, so the gripping Conquistador matters too A rich and comprehensive history of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the fall of the Aztec empire, bringing to life characters of the likes of Cortes and Montezuma The accounts from both sides are almost able to present a neutral view of the event and the depictions of battles and Aztec culture are nothing short of spectacular. I really don t know what to think of this book The author s use of adjectives in praise of Cortes gets tiresome really fast How many ways can you say he was one tactical, ruthless mother fucker Not that many, it turns out, since Levy calls him a brilliant strategist about a dozen times Seriously, it ends up reading like the epithets in Greek epics, but instead of grey eyed Athena it s battle hardened Spanish soldiers These repetitions are grating not only for their literary merits, bu I really don t know what to think of this book The author s use of adjectives in praise of Cortes gets tiresome really fast How many ways can you say he was one tactical, ruthless mother fucker Not that many, it turns out, since Levy calls him a brilliant strategist about a dozen times Seriously, it ends up reading like the epithets in Greek epics, but instead of grey eyed Athena it s battle hardened Spanish soldiers These repetitions are grating not only for their literary merits, but also because the space they take up in Levy s prose furthers the myth that only a few hundred conquistadors were able to take Tenochtitlan, a city of 300,000 inhabitants, with only passing mentions here are there of the 40,000 Tlaxcalan warriors who fought as allies with the Spanish, as well as allies from Atlixco, Chalco, Texcoco, and many other indigenous states To his credit, Levy does mention these strikingly large numbers of indigenous troops, but in contrast to his fawning over Cortes strategic cunning , it s easy for the force of these numbers mentioned almost in passing not to really sink in My biggest issue with this book, however, is not with the author, but with the voice actor who did the narration on the audiobook Patrick Lawlor has apparently won prizes or at least nominations for other audiobooks he has recorded, but I can t see why In some ways, his stilted, awkwardly formal way of speaking was well matched with the text s numerous technical details Descriptions of the dimensions of various causeways, a full accounting of the number of mares and harquebuses that the Spanish had in working order at various points during the conquest, a recounted geography of the various causeways connecting Tenochtitlan to the mainland, these are details that are hard to bring to life verbally My main beef with him was his butchering of the pronunciation of various Spanish and indigenous Mexican names Aguilar is pronounced Ah ghee lar, not Ah gwi lar This is a forgivable error to someone who isn t used to pronouncing Spanish names, but seriously, you re narrating a book about a bunch of Spaniards learn how to say their names The weirdest part about his narration, however, was that when the text quoted Cortes, Lawlor uses this bizarre Spanish accent when speaking his words Think Se or Wencez, but muchsinister I ended up looking forward to these parts because of the comic relief they offered.Despite all the complaints I have about this book, I must say that I listened to the whole thing Not only that, but I returned it to the library when it was put on hold by someone else, and because I hadn t finished it earlier, I checked it out again This might sayabout how compelling the story of the conquest is, but perhaps some credit should be given to Buddy Levy and the way he tells the story I found myself turning off my car and thinking, I wonder what is going to happen in this battle, or How will Cortes get out of this one The story pulls you along except where it stalls with the weight of excessive detail and made me want to go out and read about sixbooks on this topic from different perspectives Wow Exciting, edge of your seat reading Popular history told narrative style, but supported with extensive research An I was there kind of history, though by the end you re certainly glad you weren t A wonderful book marred only by an occasional carelessness in the prose facts are sometimes repeated within a page or two of one another, as though one instance was not removed when the other was inserted But this happens infrequently and doesn t spoil the pace of the story As for that s Wow Exciting, edge of your seat reading Popular history told narrative style, but supported with extensive research An I was there kind of history, though by the end you re certainly glad you weren t A wonderful book marred only by an occasional carelessness in the prose facts are sometimes repeated within a page or two of one another, as though one instance was not removed when the other was inserted But this happens infrequently and doesn t spoil the pace of the story As for that story Well, I thought I knew about Cort s and the Aztecs, but my knowledge and understanding only scratched the surface You can t admire the Gran Conquistador s cruelty, but you can his determination, leadership, and cleverness And to be honest, sometimes you can t really say who the bad guys are the invading Spaniards or the Aztecs who oppressed hundreds of thousands of other Mexican peoples One thing s for sure there are stains of blood from battle or sacrifice on every page of this outstanding book This true story of the conquest of the Aztecs blew my mind It is so griping, wild, violent, and shattering as to only reflect the scope of empires crashing in who s wake we all still live Cortes is Both hero and insatiably vicious. Books like this make me really wonder who is worse in the situations where someadvanced European group comes in and stomps the shit out of some barbaric cannibal child sacrificing group This book was pretty good, it was actually written sort of like a novel, with lots of liberties taken by the writer with adjectives and the feelings of the people involved But I don t think it s really meant to be an academic history book,a history book for normal people like me, and the writer s li Books like this make me really wonder who is worse in the situations where someadvanced European group comes in and stomps the shit out of some barbaric cannibal child sacrificing group This book was pretty good, it was actually written sort of like a novel, with lots of liberties taken by the writer with adjectives and the feelings of the people involved But I don t think it s really meant to be an academic history book,a history book for normal people like me, and the writer s literary embellishments don t really detract from the raw facts Considering that Montezuma is dead about halfway through the book, I don t think his name should have appeared in the title In the epilogue, there is some mention of further adventures of Cortes, all of them failures I need to check out these books I can t see how someone can conquer Mexico, and then get beaten back by Honduras Kind of like America almost single handedly winning the Pacific war and then getting spanked by the North Vietnamese In an astonishing work of scholarship that reads like an adventure thriller, historian Buddy Levy records the last days of the Aztec empire and the two men at the center of an epic clash of culturesI and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only with goldHern n Cort sIt was a moment unique in human history, the face to face meeting between two men from civilizations a world apart Only one would survive the encounter In , Hern n Cort s arrived on the shores of Mexico with a roughshod crew of adventurers and the intent to expand the Spanish empire Along the way, this brash and roguish conquistador schemed to convert the native inhabitants to Catholicism and carry off a fortune in gold That he saw nothing paradoxical in his intentions is one of the most remarkable and tragic aspects of this unforgettable story of conquestIn Tenochtitl n, the famed City of Dreams, Cort s met his Aztec counterpart, Montezuma king, divinity, ruler of fifteen million people, and commander of the most powerful military machine in the Americas Yet in less than two years, Cort s defeated the entire Aztec nation in one of the most astonishing military campaigns ever waged Sometimes outnumbered in battle thousands to one, Cort s repeatedly beat seemingly impossible odds Buddy Levy meticulously researches the mix of cunning, courage, brutality, superstition, and finally disease that enabled Cort s and his men to surviveConquistador is the story of a lost kingdom a complex and sophisticated civilization where floating gardens, immense wealth, and reverence for art stood side by side with bloodstained temples and gruesome rites of human sacrifice It s the story of Montezuma proud, spiritual, enigmatic, and doomed to misunderstand the stranger he thought a god Epic in scope, as entertaining as it is enlightening,Conquistador is history at its most riveting From the Hardcover edition Remarkably well told recreation of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico It s thoroughly researched and the characters involved are truly fascinating This opened a whole new world for me and expanded my imagination so much I loved it. For those complaining about the eurocentrism, or whatever, of this book and others regarding the conquest of the Incas and the Aztecs, perhaps they weren t aware that the Native American peoples had no written language There were no historians among them Everything we know of the encounter between the Spanish and the Aztecs comes down from Spanish chroniclers It s like people want to take modern ideas of political correctness and extrapolate in reverse to come up with some other version of For those complaining about the eurocentrism, or whatever, of this book and others regarding the conquest of the Incas and the Aztecs, perhaps they weren t aware that the Native American peoples had no written language There were no historians among them Everything we know of the encounter between the Spanish and the Aztecs comes down from Spanish chroniclers It s like people want to take modern ideas of political correctness and extrapolate in reverse to come up with some other version of this episode No matter how long you hold your breath in opposition, the end result of this conflict isn t going to change The Spanish were some ruthless motherfuckers, no doubt, but you can t rewrite history just because your 21st century feelings are hurt.My suggestion is to take this book with a grain of salt and make your own judgements about the events Almost every chronicler of history from Herodotus to Shelby Foot has heaped on a lot of embellishment concerning their point of view.On a side note, there is a television series based in Jared Diamond s Guns, Germs, and Steel in which they demonstrated the value of a Spanish war horse ridden by a skilled rider I have been at the football stadium here in Valencia for big games where security is tight Some of the police ride similar war horses and I can vouch for the intimidating nature of these beasts on a crowd of people on foot Think of them as medieval tanks against foot soldiers If you have any interest at all in Aztec culture and the Cortez saga, this is the book to read The author is a bit too empathetic with the Aztec culture of daily human sacrifices, totemic dismemberment, ritualistic blood letting and cannibalism I don t think it all that bad that Cortez ended the incomprehensibly vast killing and the ruthless preying on numerous lesser tribes as fodder to feed the ravenous Aztec appetite for human blood and flesh On the other hand, his descriptions of Aztec If you have any interest at all in Aztec culture and the Cortez saga, this is the book to read The author is a bit too empathetic with the Aztec culture of daily human sacrifices, totemic dismemberment, ritualistic blood letting and cannibalism I don t think it all that bad that Cortez ended the incomprehensibly vast killing and the ruthless preying on numerous lesser tribes as fodder to feed the ravenous Aztec appetite for human blood and flesh On the other hand, his descriptions of Aztec architecture, community organization and agricultural accomplishments are eye opening, and losses to history that do merit some regret THAT would be something to see Same goes for all the Aztec jewelry and exquisite gold silver crafts that were melted down into ingots by the Spanish What has survived to present time is but the merest sampling of what was there On the other hand, Cortez accomplishments and feats of engineering, military daring and diplomatic deftness are of a magnitude that are equally eye opening and poorly served by modern conventional accounts of his conquest He too deserves better


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