Synopses & Reviews
Many accounts portray the conquest of the New World as a remarkable military achievement, with Cortés' vastly outnumbered but better armed Spaniards defeating hordes of superstitious savages. However, the reality of these events is far more complex and no less significant. The first Conquistadors who had sailed in search of prosperity, inspired by dreams of unlimited riches, soon became disillusioned and restless. With disease rampant, resources exhausted, and the Caribbean populations dwindling, they had little alternative but to find new territories and peoples to exploit. This title shows how, bolstered by influxes of war-hardened veterans from Europe and an army of over 30,000 allied Indian troops, they came to rely on and perfect what they knew best - killing for profit, and without mercy.
This volume explodes the myth of the Conquest of Mexico by examining what factors led to the emergence of the Spanish citizen-soldier. It discusses Cortes and his highly-trained men, as well as their finely-tuned killing methods, and offers a "soldier's eye view" of the Conquest.
About the Author
John Pohl is a research archaeologist at UCLA. He is an eminent authority on American Indian civilizations and has directed numerous archaeological excavations in Mexico, Central America, Canada, and the United States. He has published extensively on subjects ranging from human origins to the rise of the Aztec empire and specializes in the decipherement of ancient pictographic writing systems.