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Fire and Blood

A History of Mexico
Narrated by: Timothy Andrés Pabon
Length: 35 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: History, World
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

There have been many Mexicos: the country of varied terrain, of Amerindian heritage, of the Spanish Conquest, of the Revolution, and of the modern era of elections and the rule of bankers. Mexico was forged in the fires of successive civilizations, and baptized with the blood of millions, all of whom added tragic dimensions to the modern Mexican identity. 

T. R. Fehrenbach brilliantly delineates the contrasts and conflicts between them, unraveling the history while weaving a fascinating tapestry of beauty and brutality: the Amerindians, who wrought from the vulnerable land a great indigenous Meso-American civilization by the first millennium BC; the successive reigns of Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Mexic masters, who ruled through an admirably efficient bureaucracy and the power of the priests, propitiating the capricious gods with human sacrifices; the Spanish conquistadors, who used smallpox, technology, and their own ruthless individualism to erect a new tyranny over the ruins of the old; the agony of independent Mexico, struggling with the weight of its overwhelming past and tremendous potential. 

Throughout the narrative the author resurrects the great personalities of Mexican history, such as Motecuhzoma, Cortes, Santa Anna, Juárez, Maximilian, Diaz, Pancho Villa, and Zapata. Fehrenbach, who has updated this edition to include recent events, has created a work of scholarly perspective and gripping prose.

©1973 T. R. Fehrenbach; new material copyright 1995 by T. R. Fehrenbach (P)2018 Tantor

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    3 out of 5 stars

Laughably old-fashioned

Old-fashioned and downright racist. Full of sweeping generalisations about the nature of the Spanish and native americans (some of whom - unbelievably - are described as 'savages'). The author falls for the Spanish 'Black Legend' hook, line and sinker. This book probably reveals more about certain American attitudes to Mexicans than it does to the history of Mexico itself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark A. Raine
  • 23-03-19

Good book bad narration

The narrator reads this like he is reading to 3 year olds. I recommend taking a close listen to a sample before purchasing. I only lusted to the first chapter but the writing itself was good.

15 people found this helpful

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  • A Lee
  • 06-08-19

Good book<br />

I liked the book, lots of history. It is a bit dated now since the last up date was in 1995.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-01-20

best book on Mexican History

Great book that covers a ton of material without becoming tedious. This was well worth the time invested.

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  • Louisa Dodds
  • 29-09-19

Informative

I really appreciated the information. The mix of American English accent for some words and some words pronounced with Spanish accent was a bit strange at times. I most benefited from the "middle half" of the book about Independence and Revolution.

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  • David Freeman
  • 25-09-19

Absolutely fantastic!

If you love history or Mexico, heck even Texas you need to read this book.

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  • Doug
  • 29-08-19

Excellent Book.

Great book. Great narrator. Really enjoyed this. It was great thanks to the author haha hahah ahaha ahaha haha haha haha

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-08-19

Full of Detail, Data and Drama

The initial part regarding the migration history of the bloodline is a little out dated but that cannot be blamed on the author. It was a bit confusing to follow the tribal names and there locations in an audio format. I am amazed at the level of information that even exists about the Spanish conquest and what really went down. It is interesting to hear the intricacies of how things played out and then comparing to the sparce tales I have heard in my past. The later more modern times are informative and I found it strongly tied to breaking free from the class divided Spanish way. I feel more understanding of a culture that went down a far different path than the United States did but yet are working hard and making progress.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-01-20

Red Flags for White Guy History

I only listened to the first hour, but when the author described the early religion as a "cult" and called the Indigenous people of Central/South America as uniquely wrong in their take on religion, I noped out hard.

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  • Emory
  • 11-10-19

old news

There's nothing I dislike more than reading a book 25 years out of date. I didn't finish reading this book because there was nothing in it that was accurate or currently new. It was like going on a expedition trip with an old expert guide, who has not changed the story since he first learn the subject. The first part of the book bloodlines is way out of date, read anyone of Graham Hancock books Magicians of the Gods, Fingerprints of the Gods, or America Before. you will realize the history of the Western Hemisphere was very different than is explained in this book. When you get to pre-columbian Indians, it's the same thing old news, a much more accurate and historically correct version of the conquest of the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas would be found by reading Buddy Levy's books Conquistadors and River of Darkness. All of the previous books I have mentioned are much better written and footnoted for fact-checking. I stopped reading the book at that point because I was just too disappointed. If you would like a historical novel fact-based, historically accurate, and very exciting then read Graham Hancock's War God series about the conquest of the Aztecs.