They are Coming: The Conquest of Mexico

They are Coming: The Conquest of Mexico

by José López Portillo y Pacheco
     
 


When Hernán Cortés and his explorers and their horses encountered the Aztecs under Moctezuma the violent collision of two worlds occurred: one mysteriously bound by the prophecy of the return of Quetzalcóatl and the other on a grand adventure without equal. This translation, written and illustrated by a former president of Mexico, takes the side…  See more details below

Overview


When Hernán Cortés and his explorers and their horses encountered the Aztecs under Moctezuma the violent collision of two worlds occurred: one mysteriously bound by the prophecy of the return of Quetzalcóatl and the other on a grand adventure without equal. This translation, written and illustrated by a former president of Mexico, takes the side of the Indian and through dramatic historical narrative, which displays the flavor of Mexico as it actually was in 1519, reveals the Indians' history of the Conquest. Through the author's clever justaposition of Cortés and Moctezuma and the love story of Marina and her Captain-General, we know more about how this strange land was conquered.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For the Mexican Indians, the Spanish Conquest of 1522 was a cosmic tragedy in which conquistador Hernando Cortes and his small, ill-equipped band of men were mistaken for descendants of the light-skinned, exiled Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. For the West, the Conquest was a great adventure, a fulfillment of the expansionist imperative thought to inhere in Christian salvation. The violent collision between two worlds is plausibly recreated in a vivid narrative that uses invented dialogues and interior monologues combined with exhaustive ransacking of primary sources. Lopez Portillo, a novelist, political scientist and former president of Mexico, adds human interest to a bloody saga by highlighting Cortes's love of Malinalli, a dignified Indian woman torn between two cultures, who converted to Christianity and was baptized as Marina. The cadenced, majestic prose is punctuated by 103 kinetic drawings by the author that have the feel of on-site 16th-century sketches. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Though the publisher calls this ``post-modern non-analytical history,'' it is actually romanticized historical fiction. In this overlong account the ex-President of Mexico writes of the conquest of Mexico from the viewpoint of the participants. His narrative follows closely the work of William Prescott. The fictional dialog allows the characters to display their emotions about the events they are caught up in. Welcomed into Mexico because myth had predicted the coming of white people, the small band of Spaniards view with awe a capital city that rivaled anything in Europe. How they conquered the vastly superior number of Indians is a story worth retelling. The conquest, a holocaust of immense proportions, is in reality a clash of religions--one which considered human sacrifice a duty and another which abhorred it yet burned at the stake those who spurned conversion. Along with Ronald Wright's much less kind Stolen Continents (Viking, 1992), this is a timely purchase during the Columbus quincentenary, calling to mind the great civilizations that were destroyed as a result.-- Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780929398358
Publisher:
University of North Texas Press
Publication date:
03/28/1992
Pages:
375
Product dimensions:
7.32(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.49(d)

Meet the Author


José López Portillo y Pacheco received his law degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico before becoming President of the Republic of Mexico. He earned a professorship in political science and public administration at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His books include Génesis y Teoría General del Estado Moderno; Quetzalcóatl; Don Q; Mis Tiempos .

Translator Beatrice Berler received degrees from Trinity University and is a Fellow of Brandeis University. Her translations include three novels by Mariano Azuela and books by Leopoldo Zea, Hugo La Torre Cabal, Edmund S. Urbanski, and editing William Prescott's history of the conquest.

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