History and Latin America

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The History of the Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Díaz del Castillo

Edited by Davíd Carrasco

The History of the Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a new abridgement of Diaz del Castillo's classic Historia verdadera de la conquista de Nueva España, offers a unique contribution to our understanding of the political and religious forces that drove the great cultural encounter between Spain and the Americas known as the "conquest of Mexico." Besides containing important passages, scenes, and events excluded from other abridgements, this edition includes eight useful interpretive essays that address indigenous religions and cultural practices, sexuality during the early colonial period, the roles of women in indigenous cultures, and analysis of the political and economic purposes behind Diaz del Castillo's narrative. A series of maps illuminate the routes of the conquistadors, the organization of indigenous settlements, the struggle for the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, as well as the disastrous Spanish journey to Honduras. The information compiled for this volume offers increased accessibility to the original text, places it in a wider social and narrative context, and encourages further learning, research, and understanding.


Davíd Carrasco is Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America with a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology and the Divinity School at Harvard University. He was recently awarded the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle.


"The combination of Díaz del Castillo's fluid narrative and the insightful essays makes for a fascinating read and not only a greater understanding of history, but also a glimpse of how individual human concerns affect the way stories are told."


ForeWord Magazine

"...a welcome addition to the published primary sources on colonial history."


The Catholic Historical Review

"...a welcome addition as a teaching manual and scholarly resource, providing up-to-date and succinct contributions on Aztec and Spanish cultures to supplement Bernal Díaz's classic text."


Journal of World History

"This volume is an important contribution to the growing body of post-modern literature focusing on Spanish colonialism."


SMRC Revista

6 x 9 in. 504 pages 9 drawings, 5 maps