Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Books: How greed, violence and faith shaped Latin America | Books - Houston Chronicle

In “Silver, Sword & Stone,” Maria Arana distills a great expanse of history by focusing on the regions’s three big obsessions.

Portrait of Montezuma II Tecnochtitlan (ca 1466-1520), the last king of the Aztecs, 1680-1697, painting by Antonio Rodriguez, oil on canvas. Mexico, 16th-17th century. Detail. Florence, Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) Museo Degli Argenti (Silver Museum)
Photo: DeAgostin, Contributor / Getty Images
Peruvian-born author Marie Arana takes us directly to the mysterious and misunderstood center of Latin America in her latest book, “Silver, Sword & Stone: Three Crucibles of the Latin American Story.”

Latin America includes Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking nations to the south of the United States. They share significant similarities because they were colonized by either Spain or Portugal. Our closest neighbor, Mexico, and other countries in Central and South America make up the region.

Arana, whose previous book was the biography “Bolivar,” manages this expansive space and long history by focusing by turns on the three crucibles of the title, what she calls the “three obsessions” of silver, sword and stone, and she profiles people who are representative of each.
In the section on “Silver,” for instance, Arana, in a deeply researched and reported analysis, shows the ways in which the lust for precious metals fueled Spain’s conquest of America. It then created a system of slavery and other cruel exploitations and revolutions...

Journalist James Barrett Reston famously said, “The people of the United States will do anything for Latin America, except read about it.”

Source: Houston Chronicle