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Publisher's Summary

Ask anyone about the significance of the year 1492, and you're almost certain to hear something about Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the New World. But there is also a perspective on 1492 far different than the one most of us know - one that is more complete and complex. A 1492 when there was no country called Spain and no language called Spanish. A 1492 whose biggest event - in the region that would eventually become Spain - was the surrender of the last Muslim stronghold, Granada, with the subsequent Edict of Expulsion that gave Jews three months to either convert to Christianity or leave the Kingdom of Castile and the Crown of Aragon.
This 12-lecture series uses the year 1492 to examine the events that made Spain a country and an empire. It examines the centuries of developments that led up to that pivotal year in Spanish history and the consequences that followed for both Spain and the New World, presenting Spanish history from the perspective of both the victors and the defeated: the Muslims, Jews, and New World natives for whom 1492 was not a time of wonder but of terror and despair.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jeremy on 06-02-15

Great background for Latin American developments

Any additional comments?

Prof. Ruiz does a great job of explaining how diverse Spain was at the time that Ferdinand and Isabella united the Iberian peninsula (he discusses regional and religious differences) and how that diversity continued and shaped "Spanish" policy. In particular, he does an excellent job explaining the policy differences pursued in Castille and Aragon.

I also have to say that Prof. Ruiz's lectures were first time I have really heard the history behind the development of the latifundio system and the office of the corregidor (two key concepts for understanding Latin American history). Usually, books about Latin America give these concepts short shrift and simply note "they came from Spain". Hearing why they were developed and what their function was in various parts of Spain was very enriching.

¡Ha hecho usted un excelente trabajo, profe!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kindle King on 01-24-16

An extraordinary history about the truth of 1492

Great attention to separating the myth of the discovery with the reality. The not so glamorous creation of a world wide empire by chance, fate and a lot of luck. And it all started with the Reconquest of a peninsula facing the Atlantic Ocean. One of my favorite audible books in my history books collection because so much detail, and trivia facts, that makes the discovery of America parallel to the first moon landing. Professor Ruiz is so engaging in his love for separating the fictional accounts from reality that you don't want him to stop. What was made popular in movies and schools is shown against the not so glamorous truth, most times without Hollywood-LIKE happy endings. I hope he continues this into a series!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ibrahim955 on 05-20-16

Interesting narration of what had happened in 1492

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author was my favourite character in this book, as he was fair and truthful in presenting the incidents. That period was full of injustice and the catholic monarchs and their armies were horrible to everyone including their own people in Castille. What happened to the minorities in Spain and to the original inhabitants of the Spanish colonies was so upsetting. Even when the author tried to make a point on their behalf it was evidently racist actions by such rulers and their followers.

What about Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz’s performance did you like?

His performance was excellent.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The moments that moved me were those about the Spanish inquisitions and those about the enslavement of the original inhabitants of the Latin America.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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