Mirrors of a Disaster: The Spanish Military Conquest of America
Transaction Publishers, 1994 - History - 257 pages
In Mirrors of a Disaster, Gérard Chaliand narrates the major events that followed the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Peru with the scope and rhythm of an epic poem. He seeks to make meaningful the strict chronicle of a conquest through those who lived it. Human details and the broader political background bring to life one of history's great tragedies.
A new introduction by the author is included in this paperback edition. The comprehensive work is organized into three parts: "The Conquest of Mexico," "The Conquest of Guatemala and Yucatan," and "The Conquest of Peru." In each section, the author provides a summary prior to, in many cases, a day-by-day account of the events as they unfolded. Enriched by significant contemporary documents Mirrors of a Disaster relates the many facets of the conquest, presenting the Indians' perception of their defeat by the Spaniards, the conquerors' narratives of the same events, and the author's own retelling of a tragedy in which, he says, "the vanquished could not, ultimately, but be vanquished."