Following in the footsteps of the greatest
Spanish adventurers, Michael Wood retraces the path of the conquistadors from
Amazonia to Lake Titicaca, and from the deserts of North Mexico to the heights
of Machu Picchu. As he travels the same routes as Hernán Cortés, Francisco, and
Gonzalo Pizarro, Wood describes the dramatic events that accompanied the epic
sixteenth-century Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Inca empires. He also
follows parts of Orellana’s extraordinary voyage of discovery down the Amazon
and of Cabeza de Vaca’s arduous journey across America to the Pacific. Few
stories in history match these conquests for sheer drama, endurance, and
distances covered, and Wood’s gripping narrative brings them fully to life.
reconstructs both sides of the conquest, drawing from sources such as Bernal
Diaz’s eyewitness account, Cortés’s own letters, and the Aztec texts recorded
not long after the fall of Mexico. Wood’s evocative story of his own journey
makes a compelling connection with the sixteenth-century world as he relates
the present-day customs, rituals, and oral traditions of the people he meets.
He offers powerful descriptions of the rivers, mountains, and ruins he
encounters on his trip, comparing what he has seen and experienced with the
As well as being one of the pivotal events in history, the
Spanish conquest of the Americas was one of the most cruel and devastating.
Wood grapples with the moral legacy of the European invasion and with the
implications of an episode in history that swept away civilizations, religions,
and ways of life. The stories in Conquistadors are not only of
conquest, heroism, and greed but of changes in the way we see the world,
history and civilization, justice and human rights. Download and start listening now!