When Montezuma Met Cortés by Matthew Restall

When Montezuma Met Cortés

A dramatic rethinking of the encounter between Montezuma and Hernando Cortés that completely overturns what we know about the Spanish conquest of the AmericasOn November 8, 1519, the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortés first met Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, at the entrance to the capital city of Tenochtitlan. This introduction—the prelude to the Spanish seizure of Mexico City and to European colonization of the mainland of the Americas—ha...

Details When Montezuma Met Cortés

TitleWhen Montezuma Met Cortés
Release DateJan 30th, 2018
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Historical, Biography

Reviews When Montezuma Met Cortés

  • Judy
    Matthew Restall certainly does his research. I find myself skipping parts, going ahead and then going back. This book should be of interest to any history buff. A whole different perspective on the Spanish invasion of Mexico. Not a quick read but very enlightening.
  • Avery
    This book's mission is actually a very cool one: it exposes the story of "Montezuma welcoming Cortez as the reincarnation of Quetzalcoatl" as a long, storied fabrication that actually began with the confusion of the conquistadors themselves. Evidence is presented that Cortez was neither a hero nor a villain, but merely a quick-witted con man who was possibly putting a Quixotic spin on the events around him to his fellow conquistadors even as they...
  • Jake
    It's meticulously researched and Restall brings up some interesting ways in which to think about history, I'll give him that. But if I had known the book was going to amount to a 350 page literature review with no real narrative to speak of (for example, the book starts with The Meeting, then shifts to pre-Cortez Aztec life, then jumps to Cortez's early life, then to Montezuma's death, then Cortez's legacy and later life then...you get the pictur...
  • Peter Goodman
    “When Montezuma Met Cortés: the true story of the meeting that changed history,” by Matthew Restall (HarperCollins, 2018). Long story short: Cortés was not the brilliant, courageous, visionary, world-striding conqueror he has long been presented as. Montezuma was not a blithering, cowardly, effeminate loser. The reverse: Cortés was a mediocre, not very enterprising, lower level conquistador with talents for self-promotion and survival. Mon...
  • Justinian
    2018-02 - When Montezuma Met Cortés: The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History. Matthew Restall (Author) 2018. 560 Pages. Nicholle saw this book in the Book Reads newspaper and I then put it on reserve at the library about ten days before it was released. The thesis of the book and much of the argument behind the thesis I was familiar with from listening to YouTube recordings of the author giving talks on the subject over the last few y...
  • Socraticgadfly
    This is "revisionist history" at its best. The book is dense at times and does jump around somewhat.That said, if one looks at Restall's author page, he's definitely got the background and the chops to know what he's talking about. His general reframing ideas are sound.For one reviewer who doesn't like Restall's calling the Aztec sacrifices 'executions,' how do you know that, too, isn't part of Spanish reframing?For the unfamiliar, Restall's thes...
  • Emily
    Restall presents an interesting thesis on the fabricated "surrender" of Montezuma to the infamous Conquistador Hernando Cortés. Although I've been looking forward to reading this for weeks now, I found myself zoning out through certain chapters as the text can be a bit dense and meandering. Despite some lulls in the writing, the research is impressive (that bibliography!) and I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in a modern ana...
  • Kate S
    This was more academic than I was prepared for. I found I did not have enough basic knowledge of the history of Mexico and Central America to truly appreciate how much work this author did.
  • Aaron
    This book is a compelling and insightful rebuke of perhaps the most famous and long lived propaganda campaign in history. Piece by piece the author examines and refutes the story we've all been fed since childhood about the conquest of the Aztec empire; that Hernando Cortez was a brilliant and ambitious conquistador who, through determination, cunning, and superior intellect almost single handedly overthrew the bloody Aztecs. Read this interestin...