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History of the Conquest of Mexico/History of the Conquest of Peru

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
One of America's greatest and most highly regarded historians, William Hickling Prescott set a lofty literary standard for historical writing with his books on Spain's emperors and explorers. Prescott avoided the dry, names-and-dates style of standard histories and instead brought the past alive, telling with drama and vigor the stories of the men who came face to face ...more
Paperback, 1328 pages
Published August 15th 2000 by Cooper Square Press (first published January 1st 1966)
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James Violand
Jul 07, 2014 James Violand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, history students
Shelves: own
Did you know the Conquistadors denuded the Mexican territory of trees to resemble their province in Spain? Did you know the Aztecs had floating islands to grow their vegetables? Did you know that civilization lost the skills of the Aztecs to weave feathers into clothing? These little asides show the depths of research that Prescott unearthed for his histories. The personalities of Cortez and Pizarro as well as their Aztec and Inca counter-parts are so well depicted that that become familiar ...more
Bob
Apr 13, 2013 Bob rated it liked it
Shelves: latin-america
The delight in these two histories is their storylines -- Cortes' victory over the Aztecs reads like Star Wars. The Castilians are amazed by the great floating city, horrified by human sacrifice, and dazzled by the displays of flowers and feather garments. The Aztecs, on their part, gaze in wonder on the horses and the knights' steel armor, while secretly dreading the return of their divinity, Quetzlcoatl. The Pizarros seem as if they are reenacting The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,: greed, dec ...more
Jelios Ataliakrouso
The book, is itself divided into two, one Mexico and the other for Peru. I pushed myself to read the conquest of Peru, that being i do not enjoy history of the Incas demise. for the beginning of both story, Prescott makes sure, the reader understand the society and landscape. Starting each story with detailed writing of the cultures, geography and society during the Conquest. this generally take up about a third of all the story but gives the value to the whole of story.
The book thereafter is
...more
Matthew
Apr 13, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it
I can't say that I have 100% faith in the accuracy of the accounts of this book. It's likely been improved upon and I am hoping that the marketing functions of this website introduce me to such a text. What I found the most interesting was that according to this book, the things the Spaniard clerics found most offensive were the apparent similarities between the Mayan religion and Christianity. For example the Mayan water god was (and still is, I've heard) represented by a cross, quetzelcoatl ...more
Joe
Apr 13, 2013 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my Life. iwas nine years old, and precocious. My Uncle Al and my Aunt Carol gave me this for Chrsitmas. Prescotts magnificent chronicles of the conquest of Mexico and the ( less interesting " Conquest of Peru, filled me with asene of what good history could be. ( A year later, the ygave me a one-volume abridgemment of Gibbon. Thank you both so much.
Ken
Apr 13, 2013 Ken rated it liked it
I've been reading this book since 1970 - longer than the actual conquest.
My goal is to someday get it finished. I used to enjoy reading the 16th century Spanish footnotes but I doubt that I can do that anymore.

Now where did I put that book?

Update - November 2011: I found the book and looked at it.

Dang...lost it again when I moved...in a box somewhere.
Stephen
Jul 26, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it
Prescott was a true historian and explorer. This work is about as full as a history of the conquest of Mexico and Peru could be. Thankfully it is not just facts and dates, but a story of conquest, murder, betrayal, and gold. It makes for a great read.
Nora
Apr 13, 2013 Nora rated it liked it
The history of Peru is fascinating, but good luck powering through; it's quite dense. Prescott's research and clear sightedness astounds on every page.
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William Hickling Prescott
U.S. historian. Born to a prosperous family, Prescott graduated from Harvard University in 1814 but was prevented by poor health and eyesight from a career in law or business. His friends, including Washington Irving, led him to his life's work: recounting the history of 16th-century Spain and its colonies. He is best known for his History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843)
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