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Rivers of gold: the rise of the Spanish Empire, from Columbus to Magellan

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From one of the greatest historians of the Spanish world, here is a fresh and fascinating account of Spain's early conquests in the Americas. Hugh Thomas's magisterial narrative of Spain in the New World has all the characteristics of great historical literature: amazing discoveries, ambition, greed, religious fanaticism, court intrigue, and a battle for the soul of humankind. Hugh Thomas shows Spain at the dawn of the sixteenth century as a world power on the brink of greatness. Her monarchs, Fernando and Isabel, had retaken Granada from Islam, thereby completing restoration of the entire Iberian peninsula to Catholic rule. Flush with success, they agreed to sponsor an obscure Genoese sailor's plan to sail west to the Indies, where, legend purported, gold and spices flowed as if they were rivers. For Spain and for the world, this decision to send Christopher Columbus west was epochal--the dividing line between the medieval and the modern. Spain's colonial adventures began inauspiciously: Columbus's meagerly funded expedition cost less than a Spanish princess's recent wedding. In spite of its small scale, it was a mission of astounding scope: to claim for Spain all the wealth of the Indies. The gold alone, thought Columbus, would fund a grand Crusade to reunite Christendom with its holy city, Jerusalem. The lofty aspirations of the first explorers died hard, as the pursuit of wealth and glory competed with the pursuit of pious impulses. The adventurers from Spain were also, of course, curious about geographical mysteries, and they had a remarkable loyalty to their country. But rather than bridging earth and heaven, Spain's many conquests bore a bitter fruit. In their search for gold, Spaniards enslaved "Indians" from the Bahamas and the South American mainland. The eloquent protests of Bartolomé de las Casas, here much discussed, began almost immediately. Columbus and other Spanish explorers--Cortés, Ponce de León, and Magellan among them--created an empire for Spain of unsurpassed size and scope. But the door was soon open for other powers, enemies of Spain, to stake their claims. Great men and women dominate these pages: cardinals and bishops, priors and sailors, landowners and warriors, princes and priests, noblemen and their determined wives. Rivers of Gold is a great story brilliantly told. More significant, it is an engrossing history with many profound--often disturbing--echoes in the present.
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9780375502040
9780804152143
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Grouped Work IDe1d724b1-89d2-7840-6c78-12a3d2787435
Grouping Titlerivers of gold the rise of the spanish empire from columbus to magellan
Grouping Authorhugh thomas
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-09-27 04:16:50AM
Last Indexed2020-09-27 04:25:42AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

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authorHugh Thomas
author_displayThomas, Hugh
available_at_santafeMain Library (Curbside Pickup)
Oliver La Farge (Curbside Pickup)
Southside (Curbside Pickup)
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Main
Online OverDrive Collection
Southside
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From one of the greatest historians of the Spanish world, here is a fresh and fascinating account of Spain's early conquests in the Americas. Hugh Thomas's magisterial narrative of Spain in the New World has all the characteristics of great historical literature: amazing discoveries, ambition, greed, religious fanaticism, court intrigue, and a battle for the soul of humankind.

Hugh Thomas shows Spain at the dawn of the sixteenth century as a world power on the brink of greatness. Her monarchs, Fernando and Isabel, had retaken Granada from Islam, thereby completing restoration of the entire Iberian peninsula to Catholic rule. Flush with success, they agreed to sponsor an obscure Genoese sailor's plan to sail west to the Indies, where, legend purported, gold and spices flowed as if they were rivers. For Spain and for the world, this decision to send Christopher Columbus west was epochal--the dividing line between the medieval and the modern.

Spain's colonial adventures began inauspiciously: Columbus's meagerly funded expedition cost less than a Spanish princess's recent wedding. In spite of its small scale, it was a mission of astounding scope: to claim for Spain all the wealth of the Indies. The gold alone, thought Columbus, would fund a grand Crusade to reunite Christendom with its holy city, Jerusalem.

The lofty aspirations of the first explorers died hard, as the pursuit of wealth and glory competed with the pursuit of pious impulses. The adventurers from Spain were also, of course, curious about geographical mysteries, and they had a remarkable loyalty to their country. But rather than bridging earth and heaven, Spain's many conquests bore a bitter fruit. In their search for gold, Spaniards enslaved "Indians" from the Bahamas and the South American mainland. The eloquent protests of Bartolomé de las Casas, here much discussed, began almost immediately. Columbus and other Spanish explorers--Cortés, Ponce de León, and Magellan among them--created an empire for Spain of unsurpassed size and scope. But the door was soon open for other powers, enemies of Spain, to stake their claims.
Great men and women dominate these pages: cardinals and bishops, priors and sailors, landowners and warriors, princes and priests, noblemen and their determined wives.

Rivers of Gold is a great story brilliantly told. More significant, it is an engrossing history with many profound--often disturbing--echoes in the present.

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Oliver La Farge (Curbside Pickup)
Southside (Curbside Pickup)
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publishDate2004
2013
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b1249611xBookBooks1st U.S. ed.EnglishRandom House, c2004.xxi, 696 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 24 cm.
overdrive:ab90a8d7-2aee-4e36-9c4a-33f6d72fed23eBookeBookEnglishRandom House Publishing Group2013
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subject_facetAmerica -- Discovery and exploration -- Spanish
Spain -- Colonies -- America -- History -- 16th century
Spain -- History -- Charles I, 1516-1556
Spain -- History -- Ferdinand and Isabella, 1479-1516
title_displayRivers of gold : the rise of the Spanish Empire, from Columbus to Magellan
title_fullRivers of Gold The Rise of the Spanish Empire, from Columbus to Magellan
Rivers of gold : the rise of the Spanish Empire, from Columbus to Magellan / Hugh Thomas
title_shortRivers of gold
title_subthe rise of the Spanish Empire, from Columbus to Magellan
topic_facetColonies
Discovery and exploration
History
Military
Nonfiction
Spanish