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They are Coming: The Conquest of Mexico

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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: 3/28/1992
  • Pages: 375
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.49 (d)

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