A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies published in 1552 by the Spanish Dominican priest Bartolome de las Casas, lays bare the Spanish cruelties in America. Though generally condemned as slander in Spain, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies rapidly became popular in the rest of Europe, where it served to fuel anti-Spanish hate. Spain's enemies used it to depict Spaniards as evil tyrants and to rationalize carving out their own empires in the Americas. New editions of A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies appeared repeatedly, even as late as 1898, during the Spanish-American War.
While much of what Bartolome de las Casas said is undoubtedly true, not all historians take A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies as the gospel truth. Though sometimes exaggerated, Las Casas' account sheds valuable light on the "Spanish Black Legend." Bartolome de las Casas, who was struck by the inhumane ways in which the native peoples were treated by the European explorers and conquerors, went on to be a leading opponent of slavery, torture, and genocide of the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies includes chapters covering Spanish treatment of Native Americans in Cuba, Nicaragua, Hispaniola, Guatemala, Venezuela, Florida, and many other areas conquered by the Spaniards.
Though short (as the name implies), A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies reveals a dark but important episode in the history of Spain and America.
What made the experience of listening to A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies the most enjoyable?
This is really important material created by one of the ten most significant Spaniards of that age about THE most significant event of the age. These things, alone, make the book terribly important (pun intended).
Would you be willing to try another book from Bartolome de las Casas? Why or why not?
Yes, in a heartbeat. He is an awfully important figure and - particularly considering the time frame - and his fervency and point of view are refreshing.
Did Jason McCoy do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
There is no character differentiation in this. It is, as it were, a first person account.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
What Colonial Spain Doesn't Want You to Know!
Any additional comments?
This information is tragic but it needs to be known and reiterated. I wish the translation and performance (particularly in terms of pronunciation) were stronger, but that it is available at all is significant, notable and commendable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
After reading Zinn's People's History of the US many years ago, I found a reference to this amazing book. After rereading both books recently, I am once again astonished how brutal human beings can be. Despite the time period, geography, political system, and religion, man has shown the capacity for evil despite the fear of their own harm or death. De Las Casa paints a vivid description of how the Spanish dealt with the inhabitants of the Americas. Tragic.