Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs

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Bantam Books, 2008 - History - 429 pages
30 Reviews
In an astonishing work of scholarship that reads like an adventure thriller, historian Buddy Levy records the last days of the Aztec empire and the two men at the center of an epic clash of cultures.

“I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only with gold.”Hernán Cortés

It was a moment unique in human history, the face-to-face meeting between two men from civilizations a world apart. Only one would survive the encounter. In 1519, Hernán Cortés arrived on the shores of Mexico with a roughshod crew of adventurers and the intent to expand the Spanish empire. Along the way, this brash and roguish conquistador schemed to convert the native inhabitants to Catholicism and carry off a fortune in gold. That he saw nothing paradoxical in his intentions is one of the most remarkable—and tragic—aspects of this unforgettable story of conquest.

In Tenochtitlán, the famed City of Dreams, Cortés met his Aztec counterpart, Montezuma: king, divinity, ruler of fifteen million people, and commander of the most powerful military machine in the Americas. Yet in less than two years, Cortés defeated the entire Aztec nation in one of the most astonishing military campaigns ever waged. Sometimes outnumbered in battle thousands-to-one, Cortés repeatedly beat seemingly impossible odds. Buddy Levy meticulously researches the mix of cunning, courage, brutality, superstition, and finally disease that enabled Cortés and his men to survive.

Conquistador
is the story of a lost kingdom—a complex and sophisticated civilization where floating gardens, immense wealth, and reverence for art stood side by side with bloodstained temples and gruesome rites of human sacrifice. It’s the story of Montezuma—proud, spiritual, enigmatic, and doomed to misunderstand the stranger he thought a god. Epic in scope, as entertaining as it is enlightening,Conquistadoris history at its most riveting.

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Review: Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs

User Review  - Mark - Goodreads

This reads like an epic adventure story but is backed up by a lot of historical research. If you are expecting a slow tedious historical narrative then this isn't it. It's written like fiction and in ... Read full review

Review: Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs

User Review  - Ron Lavery - Goodreads

I remembered Cortez and Montezuma from grade school history. Spanish conquistador Cortez conquered Montezuma and the vast Aztec empire with a small military force that overwhelmed the primitive ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Buddy Levy is the author of American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett and Echoes on Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge. As a freelance journalist he has covered adventure sports and lifestyle around the world. He is clinical associate professor of English at Washington State University, and lives in northern Idaho with his wife, Camie, and two children.

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