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The Pueblo Revolt: The Secret Rebellion That Drove the Spaniards Out of the Southwest

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  26 reviews
With the conquest of New Mexico in 1598, Spanish governors, soldiers, and missionaries began their brutal subjugation of the Pueblo Indians in what is today the Southwestern United States. This oppression continued for decades, until, in the summer of 1680, led by a visionary shaman named Popé, the Puebloans revolted. Before then the many different Pueblo villages ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published June 30th 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2004)
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I hadn't read any archaeology in so long I had forgotten how much I enjoy it. The author does well unravelling the slim resources available describing the 1680 Indian revolt against Spanish hegemony in New Mexico. But the book covers more than the revolt, it's a history of Indian-Spanish relations from Coronado until the mid 18th century. It also probes into many of the controversies dogging southwest archaeology. I appreciated Roberts' writing on his own excursions into the field and found the ...more
The book is dependent on the 'author's self-professed bias' going in. No surprises -- he tells you that right up front: he is writing a book that's sympathetic to the Pueblo Indians' point of view and not to the colonizing Spaniards' actions. (The latter are *colonialist* and pretty despicable, but when you think about it for a second, you know well enough from any readings in *colonialism* (anybody's colonialism) how that part of the written record is going to sound.) So -- after the first half ...more
Jo Stafford
David Roberts has blended ethnography, archaeology and rock art study with an account of his travels in New Mexico to produce a very readable history of the Pueblo Revolt. There are gaps in the Spanish records and the Pueblos' account of what happened is little known, so there are still a number of mysteries to be solved about this important event in the history of Native American resistance to European colonization, particularly in the 12 years between the expulsion of the Spaniards in 1680 and ...more
Sandy Gaines
The Pueblo revolt of 1680 is a unique event in the history of the Americas--the only time the natives defeated and drove out the occupying Europeans--if only temporarily. Roberts's account is wonderfully researched and wonderfully written, full of compelling detail where detail is available. He is clear from the start that this is not an "objective" account, but his own impressions and reading of the history. But that approach fits the subject, because so little is knowable in an objective way; ...more
Robert J.
While it does rely on original sources (such as they are) and oral history interviews (or the lack thereof), this book doesn't really give much insight into what happened in 1680 in New Mexico. As a history, the events are related in a somewhat chaotic, diffuse manner without enough context to really understand what happened. The author also treats his material more as memoir, telling us what he did and who he talked with and why they wouldn't talk to him or why they knew very little, but that r ...more
When recently in Santa Fe, I picked up this book by favorite author David Roberts. I'm fascinated by the history, ruins and rock art of the cliff-dwelling Native Americans, and previously enjoyed his In Search Of the Old Ones: Exploring The Anasazi World Of The Southwest. This particularly book explores the brief period between 1680 and 1692 when the Puebloans managed to band together to drive the Spanish oppressors out of New Mexico. Roberts conducts his research through centuries-old Spanish a ...more
Americans have generally come to know the stories of how America was settled from a very one-sided perspective. Writing the story of the Pueblo Revolt from a Native view point is quite a task to take on, especially since there are no historical documents written other than the accounts left by the Spanish. So while this book does a decent job at attempting the near impossible, it also has its fair share of continual nagging at the secrecy which continues to veil much of the Pueblo’s oral history ...more
Norm Minekime
This was an excellent book, even with the author's admitted bias. Having spent a good deal of time in Hopi, but knowing little about the Pueblo Revolt, I was intrigued when I saw this book on the shelf at Wapatki. It helped me better understand not only this little known part of history (little known to most Anglo Americans anyway) but gave me some insights into the reluctance of the Puebloans to talk about it. The author is adept at describing not only the history but also the archeology and et ...more
Jeffrey St.
In 1680, the pueblo nations of the American Southwest rose up in a unified revolt, evicting the Spanish from New Mexico. The obscure history of this successful uprising is dramatically told by David Roberts, who has also written fine histories of the Anasazi and Apache. The uprising, led by the mysterious shaman Popay, not only drove out the brutal Spanish overlords and the Franciscan priests for a decade but also secured the long-term integrity of the pueblos, their culture and religion. A fasc ...more
This isn't a history book in that it started in the beginning and then goes chronically. The author travels to the sites of the revolt and tries to get the Pueblo side of the story. I like his travel logs of his visits and talking to people who know something of the revolt. I think I would've liked the book better if I had more background knowledge of the event. I only have a basic knowledge of it. To any of my history friends or those who just like the Southwest I would suggest this to read.
Usually I give these a 5 star - if I could get the non-fiction obscure story read - it has to be good for the rest of you. (in my opinion!)
However, you'll be upset with me, if you pick this up and expect an easy read. Took me a few "renews" and "recheck outs" to get thru all this history.
Nonetheless - truly ENJOYED this view into heretofore unknown history.
Won't travel thru this part of the southwest, without a much different perspective now.
Sam Dye
An excellent book about the important time in history when a disparate group of pueblos who spoke in many cases totally different languages joined together to run the Spanish out of New Mexico in 1680. This book is a real education on the present day pueblos and the great network of interaction from Pecos to Hopi and Taos to Gran Quivira. I will use this dog eared book in my future explorations around the area.
Todd Haines
Great book on the history of the pueblos. Its really cool to learn more about this area. I know some of the sources mentioned in the book so that makes it more personal to me when reading it. Lots of highlights in this one.
The story of the only successful Indian rebellion against whites. It occurred in Spanish New Mexico, led to a government seated in Santa Fe (a city the Spanish created), and lasted over a decade. A quite intriguing and largely unknown history. Visiting Santa Fe shows that the history is still alive—with monuments to the re-Conquistadors and competing recollections on display.
David Roberts takes you from the present; walking the sites of the one time communities and current communities, to the past through oral tradition and written text and tells a fascinating and little know chapter of the early euro-native american contact. He shows another side to the "glorious conqueror" which has been white washed to become common knowledge history.
Robert's again gives the reader a discussion of hiking and the history of the southwest. This time the subject is the pueblo revolt -- the only successful revolt by Native Americans against European invaders. In Search of the Old Ones felt a little dated, the Pueblo Revolt is much more interesting read.
Very thorough study of the most intense native uprising in American history. In the long run.... just another religious war.

A bit confusing as the author attempts to describe both sides of the war and following years. Many opinions of many experts fill the pages. An interesting read
After a recent visit to Pueblo country I picked this up at a bookstore in Taos - what a great read! The only serious revolt of indigenous peoples against the Spanish conquest is depicted in gripping style. I recommend for anyone interested in the history of New Mexico or native culture.
Lauren Mackey
One of the better books out there about Pueblo history as it is really difficult to get information from the tribes, and the Pueblo side isn't really talked about during Las Fiestas, the so called bloodless reconquest of Santa Fe by the Spaniards 12 years after the revolt.
A fascinating look at one of the only successful Indian revolts against European colonization. This book is sympathetic to the Indian point of view, and the author does his best to explain (with respect) the Pueblo Indians' continued secrecy about this era to this day.
Very interesting. Our trip to Santa Fe got me interested in the Pueblo native culture. Picked this book up at the History Museum. Well written and quite comprehensive on early Pueblo cultures and the impact of the Spanish conquest of Neuvo Mexico.
its not bad, but he's far from objective, and upon re-reading, it really grated on me.
I feel like double checking anything I feel I learned from this. But I suppose not a bad general intro to the events.
Gypsy Lady
The author has a very contentious writing style. In short, if he were under oath and on the stand, a jury might still find it very hard to believe his testimony.
Almost reads like a travel memoir. More informative with respect to sacred sites, than as a thorough historical work.
read for APUSH... informative but crazy author
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
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David Roberts is the author of seventeen books on mountaineering, adventure, and the history of the American Southwest. His essays and articles have appeared in National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, and The Atlantic Monthly, among other publications. He lives i
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