When Montezuma Met Corts : The True Story of the Meeting That Changed HistoryBook - 2018
A dramatic rethinking of the encounter between Montezuma and Hernando Cort#65533;s that completely overturns what we know about the Spanish conquest of the Americas
On November 8, 1519, the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cort#65533;s 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--has long been the symbol of Cort#65533;s's bold and brilliant military genius. Montezuma, on the other hand, is remembered as a coward who gave away a vast empire and touched off a wave of colonial invasions across the hemisphere.
But is this really what happened? In a departure from traditional tellings, When Montezuma Met Cort#65533;s uses "the Meeting"--as Restall dubs their first encounter--as the entry point into a comprehensive reevaluation of both Cort#65533;s and Montezuma. Drawing on rare primary sources and overlooked accounts by conquistadors and Aztecs alike, Restall explores Cort#65533;s's and Montezuma's posthumous reputations, their achievements and failures, and the worlds in which they lived--leading, step by step, to a dramatic inversion of the old story. As Restall takes us through this sweeping, revisionist account of a pivotal moment in modern civilization, he calls into question our view of the history of the Americas, and, indeed, of history itself.