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Golden Age (2010)

by Hugh Thomas(Favorite Author)
3.44 of 5 Votes: 5
1846140846 (ISBN13: 9781846140846)
Allen Lane
review 1: The second volume of Hugh Thomas' fabulous works on the Spanish Empire, the reviewed volume reaching from 1522 to 1558, the year of Charles V's death. A breathtaking, detailed account of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Peru, interlaced with the goings on back home in Europe. Bold Conquistadores, pious priests with a modern view on the plight of the indigenous peoples, the tragic fates of many an adventurer, the promise of untold richness just over the next mountain, brilliant administrators and traitors. A very human story, with ruthless cruelty in lust of gold, and Utopianism abound.Exhaustively referenced, bibliographed and footnoted, with fascinating maps, statistics and beautiful photos of period portrait paintings of the main characters. Reading on a Kindle Fire is... more therefore a plus. Dizzying amount of dates, names and places; the work would be highly complemented with X-Ray. Be sure to expand any searches to Wikipedia for more photos and detailed info.Highly Recommended.
review 2: This is an excellent example of a book where the author has probably spent half of his life digging through archives to find the most interesting encounters about grandiose historical events in order to write this immensely boring book. It sounds almost unbelievable but it is possible to fill 800 pages with never ending namedropping in the context of post Renaissance Spain - who was related to whom and from which village in Extremadura was this or that character - whereas the events are supposed to take place in the Americas. Nevertheless, if the reader can overlook and overcome these nuisances the book (which could have easily been much thinner) contains some very interesting notifications. We can deduct that not too much has changed on European economical and political scene over the past 500 years: the Spanish extravagances are still financed by the German bankers and while the Europeans quarrel amongst themselves over artificial issues the rest of the world is smoothly moving forward. less
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Heavy on names and places. You really need to have read his previous book River of Gold or Conquest.
Excellent book on the Spanish Empire. I can't wait to read Rivers of Gold.
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