We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Cover

Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest

Matthew Restall

Publication Date - October 2004

ISBN: 9780195176117

240 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $19.99

A provocative look at the distorted history of the Spanish Conquest

Description

Here is an intriguing exploration of the ways in which the history of the Spanish Conquest has been misread and passed down to become popular knowledge of these events. The book offers a fresh account of the activities of the best-known conquistadors and explorers, including Columbus, Cortés, and Pizarro.

Using a wide array of sources, historian Matthew Restall highlights seven key myths, uncovering the source of the inaccuracies and exploding the fallacies and misconceptions behind each myth. This vividly written and authoritative book shows, for instance, that native Americans did not take the conquistadors for gods and that small numbers of vastly outnumbered Spaniards did not bring down great empires with stunning rapidity. We discover that Columbus was correctly seen in his lifetime--and for decades after--as a briefly fortunate but unexceptional participant in efforts involving many southern Europeans. It was only much later that Columbus was portrayed as a great man who fought against the ignorance of his age to discover the new world. Another popular misconception--that the Conquistadors worked alone--is shattered by the revelation that vast numbers of black and native allies joined them in a conflict that pitted native Americans against each other. This and other factors, not the supposed superiority of the Spaniards, made conquests possible.

The Conquest, Restall shows, was more complex--and more fascinating--than conventional histories have portrayed it. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest offers a richer and more nuanced account of a key event in the history of the Americas.

Features

  • Offers a fresh account of the activities of the best-known conquistadors and explorers, including Columbus, Cortés, and Pizarro
  • Using a wide array of sources, historian Matthew Restall provides a richer and more nuanced account of a key event in the history of the Americas

About the Author(s)

Matthew Restall is Professor of Latin American History, Women's Studies, and Anthropology, and Director of Latin American Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of five books, including Maya Conquistador and The Maya World. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

Reviews

"Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest is an engaging and highly readable account of the history of the conquest of the Amerias."--Jennifer Jobb, Against the Current

"A daring revisionist critique.... Restall's provocative analysis, wide-ranging scholarship and lucid prose make this a stimulating contribution to the debate on one of history's great watersheds."--Publishers Weekly

"This is an important book. It should be read by all high school world history teachers, and by professors of the same....a powerful indictment of the myths that we all inadvertently rely on to explain a complex and distant period. It will undoubtedly stir up a discussion about the reality of these myths and what others might find in both popular and scholarly writing in this field, and others." --American Historical Review

Related Titles

Colonial Latin America

Colonial Latin America

Ninth Edition

Mark A. Burkholder and Lyman L. Johnson

Request examination copy

 
Colonial Lives