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Letters from Mexico

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  283 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Hernán Cortés’s Cartas de Relacíon, written over a seven-year period to Charles V of Spain, provide an extraordinary narrative account of the conquest of Mexico from the founding of the coastal town of Veracruz until Cortés’s journey to Honduras in 1525. Pagden’s English translation has been prepared from a close examination of the earliest surviving manuscript and of the ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published August 11th 2001 by Yale University Press (first published 1555)
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Dec 29, 2008 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could as easily give this one star. Cortez's account of his conquest of the Aztec empire is on the one hand utterly horrifying--it's as if the influenza virus were writing its life story. On the other hand, it's a riveting, nail-biting work of what amounts to science fiction, in the old Edgar Rice Burroughs vein. A small band of voyagers lands on an alien planet and takes over. Unique, anyway.
May 30, 2013 Ned rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current
the notes here are fantastic
Nov 17, 2013 Maximiliano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una verdadera aventura épica...
Si esto hubiera sido ficción, lo habría "disfrutado" algo. Pero como no es así, mi odio se acrecentaba con cada palabra. Eso sí, hay que admitir que este hombre fue un gran estratega. Pero aun así, sigo odiando leer cómo se destruyó una cultura tan rica.
Hernan Cortes est le conquistador qui a assujetti le Mexique à la couronne d'Espagne. Arrivé avec une poignée d'homme sur le continent, forcé d'aller toujours plus avant, pressé par les inimitiés de certains compatriotes restés à Cuba, il parvient à bousculer l'empire Aztèque, appuyé par leurs anciens vassaux lesquels étaient lassés de porter le joug d'une théocratie cruelle. Le comportement velléitaire de Moctezuma, les prophéties annonçant le retour des dieux, l'avance technologique, tout cons ...more
Rick Perez
Oct 19, 2009 Rick Perez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Rick by: found on a bookshelf in a used bookstore
This was a fascinating read, filled with tales of travel, politics, and war. Cortez talks not only of the difficulty in getting to America, but also of the Aztec people, and beauty of the capital, as well as his bloody struggle to gain control of the native empire. These five letters demonstrate, albeit through a filtered and highly manipulated lens, the beginnings of Colonial Latin America, and the creation of Mestizaje.
For anyone interested in the history of Mexico, Latin America, or the colon
Whatever you read elsewhere the words of a participant who admits to destroying towns and entire populations 'until our arms ached' is a horrifying read. The lack of details adds to the callousness of the beginning of the European destruction of the Americas.One 3 books out of a library of at least tens of thousands survived. The Europeans even banned weaving because it could be used to convey messages and histories.
Oct 12, 2007 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all travel writers
Shelves: mexico, journals
What a PR master Hernan Cortes was. So much contemporary travel writing simply reenacts the conquest and the reactions of the conquistadors. If you're going to do that, might as well go back to the source. This is an excellent translation, with good explanatory notes and bibliography.
May 16, 2014 Dani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es una contradicción para mí, por una parte me aburrió y por otra me pareció fascinante leerlo.
Finalmente fue una tarea en la universidad, pero no me arrepiento de haberlo leído.
Jun 17, 2007 Madelyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: 3rdand12th
a highly entertaining, disturbing read. for some reason i regard this to be perhaps the most accurate record of the voyages into hispania, particularly because cortes is so proud of his crimes...
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