Fifth sun : a new history of the Aztecs

2019, Book , xii, 320 pages :
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Summary/Review: "Five hundred years ago, in November 1519, Hernando Cortés walked along a causeway leading to the capital of the Aztec kingdom and came face to face w more...
Summary/Review: "Five hundred years ago, in November 1519, Hernando Cortés walked along a causeway leading to the capital of the Aztec kingdom and came face to face with Moctezuma. That story--and the story of what happened afterwards--has been told many times, but always from the point of view of the Europeans. After all, we have been taught, it was the Europeans who held the pens. But the Native Americans were more intrigued by the Roman alphabet than the Spaniards ever knew. Unbeknownst to the newcomers, the Aztecs took it home and used it to write detailed histories in their own language of Nahuatl. Until recently, these sources remained obscure, only partially translated, and almost never consulted by scholars. For the first time, in Fifth Sun, the history of the Aztecs is offered in all its complexity, in an account based solely on the texts written by the people themselves. The Aztecs suddenly appear as real people, rather than the exotic, bloody figures of stereotypes. The conquest is neither an apocalyptic moment, nor an origin story launching Mexicans into existence. This book presents the story of Native Americans who had a history of their own long before the Europeans arrived and who used their talents to survive when the worst of times came upon them. It shows people who realigned their political allegiances, accommodated new obligations, adopted new technologies (such as alphabetic writing and European paper), and carried on. This revisionist history of the Aztecs explores the experience of a once-powerful people facing the trauma of conquest--as well as their survival and continuity--offering an accessible and humanized depiction of a civilization for experts and non-specialists alike."--Provided by publisher.
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    Barbara Frum
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