Conquest of the Americas : The Great Courses: Renaissance & Early Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Marshall C. Eakin
  • Series: The Great Courses: Renaissance & Early Modern History
  • 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Was Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas in 1492 the most important event in the history of the world?
Professor Eakin's provocative answer is a resounding "Yes" - as he presents his case in an intriguing series of 24 lectures. He argues that the voyage gave birth to the distinct identity of the Americas today by creating a collision between three distinct cultures - European, African, and Native American - that radically transformed the view of the world on both sides of the Atlantic. These thoughtful lectures will remind you that when Columbus completed his voyage, he found a people unlike any he had ever known, living in a land unmentioned in any of the great touchstones of Western knowledge. You'll learn how the European world, animated by the great dynamic forces of the day, Christianity and commercial capitalism, reacted to Columbus's discovery with voyages of conquest-territorial, cultural, and spiritual - throughout the New World. And you'll see the traumatic consequences - not only for the native peoples of the Americas, but for the people of Africa, as well, millions of whom had their lives altered by the transatlantic slave trade that resulted. Yet these lectures are far more than an account of heroes and villains, or victors and victims. They form a dramatic, sweeping tale of the complex blending of three peoples into one-forming new societies and cultures that were neither European, African, nor Native American, but uniquely American. While Professor Eakin readily identifies his own interpretation of events, he generously showcases competing views, and you'll benefit enormously from the many works he cites for further study.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not a Great Course, not even a good one

What would have made Conquest of the Americas better?

The Professor needs to seriously re-check his scholarship. Minor errors in facts might fly in a lecture, but not in a recorded medium. Tecun Umam was not the leader of the Quiche Kingdom. The concept of "race" is not wholly divorced from biology, although it remains a cultural construct.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not another course by Eakin.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Yes, the course needs a narrator. Eakin stumbles over this words, stammers through his narration, and tries to land awkward jokes. He is not a talented narrator.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Few. The lecture on the Jesuits was not bad.

Any additional comments?

This is not a course on the "Conquest of the Americas." It is a course on 16th to 18th century European colonialism in the Americas. While somewhat related, colonialism is not conquest. They are not equivalent terms. The course needs to focus on the military encounters between Spain and the high cultures of Central and South America and their missteps in the Caribbean. The course needs an expert in that field, not a Brazilian historian.

Read full review

- Keith E. Eppich


Where does Conquest of the Americas rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best.

What did you like best about this story?

The pace of the narrator's voice and the passion for the thoughts he delivers.

What does Professor Marshall C. Eakin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Passion for the discipline he teaches.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The title.

Read full review

- Cássio

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses