ISBN 10: 1846079721 / ISBN 13: 9781846079726
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Inhaltsangabe: The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the 16th century was one of the most important and cataclysmic events in history. Spanish expeditions endured incredible hardships in order to open up the lands of the 'New World', and few stories in history can match these for drama and endurance. In Conquistadors, Michael Wood follows in the footsteps of some of the greatest of the Spanish adventurers travelling from the forests of Amazonia to Lake Titicaca, the deserts of North Mexico, the snowpeaks of the Andes and the heights of Machu Picchu. He experiences the epic journeys of Cortes, Pizarro, Orellana and Cabeza de Vaca, and explores the turbulent and terrifying events surrounding the Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Inca empires. Wood brings these stories to vivid life, highlighting both the heroic accomplishments and the complex moral legacy of the European invasion. Conquistadors is Michael Wood at his best - thoughtful, provocative and gripping history.

Review: First the Trojan War, then the eras of Alexander the Great and King Arthur. Now, in this companion volume to the BBC/PBS television series, the indefatigable writer-filmmaker Michael Wood turns his lens and pen on the restless, sometimes homicidal men who established Spain's empire in the Americas.

"The conquest opened up the world," Wood writes, "marking the beginnings of a globalization which was not only commercial, but also ideological and philosophical, a remaking of mental horizons no less than a redrawing of physical geography." Grand themes all, but Wood is less interested in sweeping statements than in exploring the particular circumstances surrounding the careers of Spain's freebooter-warriors. Following in their footsteps, Wood takes his readers first to the dusty, bleak Spanish province of Estremadura, which gave rise to a remarkable generation of conquerors, hungry for land and wealth and well schooled in the arts of war. One of those men, Hernán Cortés, was also schooled in law--or so his contemporaries thought--and he was able to turn a talent for fighting and learned disputation into a great personal fortune made first in Cuba, then in Mexico, which he won not so much with weaponry but with great cunning. Another, Francisco Pizarro--a distant cousin of Cortés--recruited a semiprivate army to capture the great Inca empire, relying on force more than guile. Wood also follows the paths of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and Francisco Orellana, accidental wanderers who helped open the interiors of North and South America to conquest. His latter-day, low-tech journeys underscore the difficulties the conquistadors faced in their time, and they help readers appreciate the sheer scale of their often bloody achievements. The story of the conquest, Wood writes, "never wearies in the retelling," and he proves it in this accessible, literate, and lively book. --Gregory McNamee

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Verlag: BBC BOOKS Feb 2010 (2010)
ISBN 10: 1846079721 ISBN 13: 9781846079726
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Buchbeschreibung BBC BOOKS Feb 2010, 2010. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - Michael Wood's bestselling exploration of the Spanish conquest of South America, available for the first time in paperback. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9781846079726

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