Saturday, August 16, 2008

Five best books about historical conquest

David Day, author of Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others, named a five best list of books about historical conquest for the Wall Street Journal.

Number One on his list:
History of the Conquest of Mexico
by William Prescott
1843

History can be understood in many ways, but one of the most compelling is to track the movement of peoples and their later attempts to put their stamp on newly conquered lands. Spain's conquest of Mexico in the 16th century is a dramatic example. A rousing narrative of that conquest was written in the early 1840s by the partially blind American historian William Prescott, who combined admiration for the Spanish conqueror Cort├ęs with a relatively sensitive portrayal of the vanquished Aztecs. "It is but justice to the Conquerors of Mexico," Prescott writes, "to say that the very brilliancy and importance of their exploits have given a melancholy celebrity to their misdeeds." This hugely influential book was based on research in Spanish archives and was published as Americans were completing a sweep across land that they had claimed as their own.
Read about all five books on Day's list.

The Page 99 Test: David Day's Conquest.

--Marshal Zeringue