Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest: Updated Edition

ISBN : 9780197537299

Matthew Restall
272 ページ
156 x 235 mm

An update of a popular work that takes on the myths of the Spanish Conquest of the Americas, featuring a new afterword. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest reveals how the Spanish invasions in the Americas have been conceived and presented, misrepresented and misunderstood, in the five centuries since Columbus first crossed the Atlantic. This book is a unique and provocative synthesis of ideas and themes that were for generations debated or perpetuated without question in academic and popular circles. The 2003 edition became the foundation stone of a scholarly turn since called The New Conquest History. Each of the book's seven chapters describes one "myth," or one aspect of the Conquest that has been distorted or misrepresented, examines its roots, and explodes its fallacies and misconceptions. Using a wide array of primary and secondary sources, written in a scholarly but readable style, Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest explains why Columbus did not set out to prove the world was round, the conquistadors were not soldiers, the native Americans did not take them for gods, Cortes did not have a unique vision of conquest procedure, and handfuls of vastly outnumbered Spaniards did not bring down great empires with stunning rapidity. Conquest realities were more complex-and far more fascinating-than conventional histories have related, and they featured a more diverse cast of protagonists-Spanish, Native American, and African. This updated edition of a key event in the history of the Americas critically examines the book's arguments, how they have held up, and why they prompted the rise of a New Conquest History.


Introduction: The Lost Words of Bernal Diaz
Ch 1 A Handful of Adventurers: The Myth of Exceptional Men
Ch 2 Neither Paid Nor Forced: The Myth of the King's Army
Ch 3 Invisible Warriors: The Myth of the White Conquistador
Ch 4 Under the Lordship of the King: The Myth of Completion
Ch 5 The Lost Words of La Malinche: The Myth of (Mis)Communication
Ch 6 The Indians Are Coming to an End: The Myth of Native Desolation
Ch 7 Apes and Men: The Myth of Superiority
Epilogue: Cuauhtemoc's Betrayal


Matthew Restall is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Latin American History, Women's Studies, and Anthropology and Director of Latin American Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of numerous books, including Maya Conquistador, The Conquistadors: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2012), and When Montezuma Met Cortes: The True Story of the Meeting That Changed History.