Matthew Restall is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Latin American History and director of Latin American studies at Pennsylvania State University. He is president of the American Society for Ethnohistory, and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the John Carter Brown Library, the Library of Congress, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has written twenty books and sixty articles and essays on the histories of the Mayas, of Africans in Spanish America, and of the Spanish Conquest. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with his wife and the youngest of his four daughters.
Restall skillfully describes a subtler story of relationships both loving and coercive. . . . Bold. -- <em>New Yorker</em> Restall has a well-earned reputation as a mythbuster in the history of the New World. . . . A lively, original, and readable book aimed at a wider audience. . . . A remarkable achievement. -- <em>Wall Street Journal</em> Blending erudition with enthusiasm, Restall has achieved a rare kind of work-serious scholarship that is impossible to put down. -- <em>Publishers Weekly</em> (starred review) A methodical deconstruction of the myths surrounding Hernando Cortes' Mexican conquest and the surrender of Montezuma. . . . Throughout, Restall's assertions are well-supported and difficult to refute, and the timeline that opens the book is particularly helpful. An engaging revisionist exploration of one of human history's great lies. -- <em>Kirkus</em> A narrative that complicates our understanding of a history that, though well-known, is wrong in many of its details. In correcting it, Restall makes a fine contribution to the history of the New World, one that should inspire other re-evaluations of our cherished stories. -- <em>Kirkus</em> (online) Brilliant deep dive into the history and scholarship. . . . Through diligent research, Restall presents readers with a fascinating view of Montezuma, mounting a convincing argument that Cortes' self-serving accounts and the traditional narrative are almost surely false. -- <em>BookPage</em> Matthew Restall illuminates every topic he touches. His new book is the best study ever--the subtlest, most sensitive, most challenging, and best-informed--on the conquest of Mexico. -- Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, author of <em>Columbus</em> and <em>Amerigo</em> A new, startlingly persuasive picture of what actually happened during the Spanish Conquest, based on a radical question: What if the tough, canny leaders of these native military empires didn't suddenly fold up like wet cardboard at the arrival of a couple of hundred bearded oddities from some faraway place? -- Charles Mann, author of <em>1491</em> In a deeply learned history that reads like a detective story, Restall reveals the Gordian knot of myth and fiction that have long hidden the real history of the encounter between Montezuma and Cortes. The history of the Americas will never be the same. -- Louis S. Warren, author of <em>God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America</em>