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

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  160 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
The dramatic and tragic story of the only successful Native American uprising against the Spanish, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

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 o
ebook, 288 pages
Published June 30th 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2004)
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May 16, 2017 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only time in all of North American history that the Spanish were defeated by the Indians and forced to retreat was the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, which lasted for twelve years before the Spanish returned in force.

David Roberts has written an excellent book about this event: The Pueblo Revolt: The Secret Rebellion that Drove the Spaniards Out of the Southwest. To this day, we don't know very much about the twenty Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona -- and the Indians would prefer it that way. There
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
Feb 18, 2014 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sandy Gaines
Dec 03, 2011 Sandy Gaines rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sally Atwell Williams
The author of this book did a masterful job of trying to tie together the reasons for the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. His research into the Spanish invasions of Nuevo Mexico since Coronado's search for gold was done with translations of the diaries and papers/letters written back and forth by the different leaders and religious who came into New Mexico in the 1500's onward, until in 1680, the leaders of the various Pueblos secretly made a plan to get rid of the Spaniards. The Spaniards came in search ...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
Jo Stafford
Aug 03, 2014 Jo Stafford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 25, 2015 Marcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good background on the causes and consequences of the Spanish influence on the Native American cultures of the Southwest. Some would say Spanish interference, and I would agree with that. They practiced a "slash and burn" method of "civilizing", destroying cultures, religious practices and languages along the way. They were a driven and relentless people who felt innately superior to every other people that they encountered. This unfounded belief continues in the American Southwest to this day ...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
Kirk Astroth
Jul 19, 2016 Kirk Astroth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the least understood historical events of the Spanish intrusion into the Southwest, the revolt of 1680 is full of mystery largely because the Native American side remains secret among Pueblo and Hopi people. But Roberts dives in to try and get the story as well as the so-called "Bloodless Reconquest" in 1692-1696 that cost many Indian lives and destroyed many pueblos in New Mexico and Arizona. The butchery of the Spanish against native people who simply wanted to be left alone and to prac ...more
Apr 25, 2010 Kirk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 29, 2016 JW rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, west-is-best
With just enough academia to give it a sense of authority but not so much that it becomes dense, Roberts paints an interesting picture of a pre-American southwest. The Pueblo Indians of Nuevo Mexico expelled the invading Spanish in 1680 only to be re-invaded 12 years later and this time for good. Roberts begins with the revolt, then backtracks to the initial estrada by the Spanish and what led up to the revolt. Much of the book is his reflections on history as he hikes and travels the pueblos an ...more
Dec 18, 2013 Troy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jeffrey St.
Mar 17, 2008 Jeffrey St. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Norm Minekime
Jul 07, 2014 Norm Minekime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2013 VerJean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 08, 2013 Sam Dye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 04, 2009 Elliot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 25, 2008 Rfreeman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 03, 2009 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lauren Mackey
Apr 23, 2010 Lauren Mackey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
May 12, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 15, 2009 Milo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 27, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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.
Todd Haines
May 14, 2014 Todd Haines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 05, 2012 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Almost reads like a travel memoir. More informative with respect to sacred sites, than as a thorough historical work.
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.
Mar 27, 2009 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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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