Synopses & Reviews
This is both a specific study of conversion in a corner of the Spanish Empire, and a work with implications for the understanding of European domination and native resistance throughout the colonial world. Dr Clendinnen explores the intensifying conflict between competing and increasingly divergent Spanish visions of Yucatan and its destructive outcomes. She seeks to penetrate the ways of thinking and feeling of the Mayan Indians in a detailed reconstruction of their assessment of the intruders.
"Clendinnen's elegantly written work describes the devastating effects of Spanish conquest and settlement on the politically fragmented Maya of the Yucatan until 1570...A careful evaluation of printed primary and secondary sources...Her account of the 1562 investigation into Maya religious practices and the political conflicts that accompanied it makes fascinating reading." Choice"This beautifully written and finely researched book is the best account we have of the tragic confrontation between Yucatan Maya and the Spanish invaders (both military and religious). It throws entirely new light on the far from benevolent role of the Franciscans--especially the famous Diego de Landa--in the process of crushing native Maya culture. This is a triumph of modern scholarship." Michael Coe, Yale University"This is a splendid book by a gifted historian. With great subtlety and imagination, Inga Clendinnen draws us into the swirls of missteps, ambitions, deceptions, and fantasies that constituted the conquest drama in Yucatan...Clendinnen has written a remarkably powerful and compelling book...This study ranks among the very best scholarship on the region and will dazzle any serious student of native American peoples, Christian missionaries, and colonial situations." American Historical Review"Reading the Holocaust is worthwhile indeed." Lev Bearfield, The Jerusalem Post
Includes bibliographical references (p. 228-237) and index.