Item description for Cortes (Spanish Edition) by Christian Duverger...
The most complete biography of the founder of a nation, written as an adventure novel, with the scientific rigor of the great contemporary historians. It is 1544 and the man who was able to conquer the Aztec Empire in less than two years has become a menace to the medieval kingdom of Castile: his vision of Christianization and aspiration to build a financially independent mestizo society differs from Spains vision for the new colony. Now, Corts dreams of becoming a king of the new world.
Description in Spanish: La biografa ms completa del fundador de una nacin, escrita a manera de novela de aventuras, con el rigor cientfico de los grandes historiadores contemporneos.
El 3 de febrero de 1544, Corts se apodera de su arma ms terrible: su pluma. Un sol de invierno inunda la vieja capital de los reyes de Castilla. Y el viejo conquistador escribe por ltima vez, a un rey que desert y que no leer su carta jams. "Defenderme del fiscal de Vuestra Majestad ha sido y es ms dificultoso que ganar la tierra de los enemigos".
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Reviews - What do customers think about Cortes (Spanish Edition)?
Other side of the mountain described by Prescott Jul 23, 2007
For over 30 years I have been carrying around in my head Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico as the definitive story of Cortes and his deeds. Not being an historian, I was not ready to follow up with perusal of scholarly literature to complete my understanding of these great events. I was delighted to find Christian Duverger's book in Spanish translation. He tells the other side of this great story, most importantly Cortes' efforts to protect indigenous life and culture after the bloody conquest, his efforts to combine the best of both cultures, and to provide his Nueve Espania with a measure of political autonomy. Another strength of the book is Duverger's treatment of the political background of the discovery of the New World (internal to "Spain" and "Spanish versus Portugal") and leadership deficits of the Spanish monarchy. Cortes' problems with the governor of Cuba described in better detail, and his dealings with King Carlos V and his "inspector generals" are fascinating material which was not treated by Prescott.
The only defects which I found in the book were the author's tendency to oversell his mestizo theory (particularly in the early pages before the supporting material was presented) and the author's choice of present-tense narration for the action-laden portions of the story while relapsing into past tense in the same paragraphs. This detracted from the joys of this reader for whom Spanish is a third language.
A little too speculative Apr 4, 2007
I admire Duverger's work. His "Lethal Flower" opened new roads of inquiry in the whole issue of the wars to obtain prisoners practiced in MesoAmerica. But this book was a much harder read for me. Duverger's central premise is that Cortés set out to create a mestizo nation; one that would have the best of the Mexica and Spaniards. It requires quite a suspension of disbelief. I found all the documentation quite fascinating... Duverger covers a lot of Spain; but once again, many of his assertations lacked enough backing for me to swallow. It's a pity... his more formal works are very solid historo-ethno-anthropological research.