History of the Conquest of Mexico

  • by W.H. Prescott
  • Narrated by Kerry Shale
  • 4 hrs and 41 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1519, Hernando Cortés arrived in Mexico to investigate stories of a wealthy empire. What he encountered was beyond his wildest dreams; an advanced civilization with complex artistic, political, and religious systems (involving extensive human sacrifice) and replete with gold. This was the Aztec empire, headed by the aloof emperor, Montezuma.
With just a handful of men, Cortés achieved the impossible, crushing the Aztecs and their allies, and effectively annexing the whole territory for Spain.
One of the most extraordinary stories of conquest in mankind's history, it is told here in the classic account by the American historian W.H. Prescott.


Audible Editor Reviews

In his 1843 work History of the Conquest of Mexico, W. H. Prescott crafts a scholarly but absorbing tale of Hernando Cortés’ takeover of Mexico.
A Spanish conquistador, Cortés arrived in Mexico in 1519 with only 500 men. Through strategic alliances with native people and savage violence, Cortés began to conquer Mayan territory. His biggest plunders came when he arrived in the city of Tenochtitlan (described by Prescott as the "Venice of the Western World"). Once there, the Aztec ruler Montezuma tried to placate Cortés with gifts to no avail.
Kerry Shale, who has the rich vocal presence of a newscaster but the delivery of a storyteller, offers a riveting performance of Prescott’s work.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Gripping story

This is pre-PC history (the graphic descriptions of human sacrifice among the Aztecs are labeled "barbaric," for example--but the history is accurate and not Euro-centric. The narrative is detailed, but never anything but exciting.
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- Roger Conner "rwconner"


Prescott is remarkable in his eloquent diction and fast-moving narrative. It's true that this account is "pre-PC" in the sense that he uses terms like "barbarian", but it appears very accurate and Prescott tries to let actions speak for themselves, rather than projecting his own viewpoint into them. Prescott's focus seems to be creating a well-written and enjoyable readable account rather than placing blame or advancing a political agenda, as is sadly the case with many contemporary historical accounts.

In summary, great traveling reading for the student of history or casual listener...well-written/adapted work and similarly good narration.
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- James C

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-24-2004
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks