- Solitude Press
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)
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La Florida based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
What happened in North America between the time of Columbus and Pocahontas? If you thought "nothing much," you really should read La Florida. Loker covers the Spanish exploration & settlement in North America from 1500 to 1600 in clear, coherent prose. In his foreword Loker asks, ". how [the Spanish] could succeed so quickly and pervasively in Mexico, Central and South America and stumble so mightily in North America .? Then he gives what appears to be an elegantly brilliant answer. As you read the episodes of La Florida the same answer becomes convincing to you too. Loker describes the episodes from a reporter's view point. He describes who, what, why, where, when, and how. The "what" includes how many and how much, which reveals the stunning magnitude of lives and fortunes destroyed by the Spanish explorations. The episodes are based on Spanish journals from many sources. Loker provides many names on both sides and clear maps. He describes most events in chronological order, except where simultaneous explorations were happening. The transition of the narrative from one exploration to the other is clearly delineated. Many selected quotes from the original journals are inserted into the history with excellent effect. The people most often detailed in other history books, Columbus, Cortez, and Pizzarro, are described only as necessary to set the scene for other Spanish explorers. Wherever possible Loker briefly describes the historical character's life before and after the confrontation of the Spanish explorers and the Americans (Indians). Analysis is only a few simple declarative sentences. You may find yourself making a virtual scene of the action in your mind. Be aware that the gruesome details are true past events explained in plain English. The beginning and the ending episodes of La Florida involve American interaction with Spanish priests. The episodes happened nearly a century and a continent apart. Loker quotes from a modern American (Indian) web site to reveal the basic reason for the divergent behavior of the Americans in both episodes. The same reason appears to explain American reactions throughout the century of Spanish exploration in North America. La Florida is a readable history and a valuable reference about a "lost" century. You may want to keep your copy of La Florida as a reference book. La Florida deserves to be in all libraries. So I recommend that you check with your nearest librarian. If La Florida is not on the library purchase list, get a commitment that the library will catalog a donated copy and buy them at least one.
The characters come to life, and the clash of cultures explodes on page after page. Unimaginable hardship, over-looked Native American kindness, and lust for gold provide a human dimension to this comprehensive history of early North America.