América: The Epic Story of Spanish North America, 1493-1898, by Robert Goodwin
An epic history of the Spanish empire in North America from 1493 to 1898 by Robert Goodwin.
At the conclusion of the American Revolution, half the modern United States was part of the vast Spanish Empire. For three hundred years, thousands of proud Spanish conquistadors went in search of glory and riches from Florida to California. Many died, few triumphed. Some were cruel, some were curious, some were kind. Missionaries and priests yearned to harvest Indian souls for God through baptism and Christian teaching.
Theirs was a frontier world which Spain struggled to control in the face of Indian resistance and competition from France, Britain, and finally the United States. In the 1800s, Spain lost it all.
Goodwin tells this history through the lives of the people who made it happen and the literature and art with which they celebrated their successes and mourned their failures.
"Goodwin writes with verve and can be read with pleasure . . . He who revels in set pieces, has the edge in evoking historical personalities, particularly swashbuckling characters. . . a rattling good story." - The New York Review of Books