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A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca

 
 
 
 
A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca
Author: Andrés Reséndez
ISBN 13: 9780465068401
ISBN 10: 465068405
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 2007-11-13
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
List Price: $26.95
 
 

The gripping story of a doomed mission to North America-and the four survivors who journeyed for a decade across the new world just discovered by Christopher Columbus

The Barnes & Noble Review

In the 16th century, Catholic Spain -- the sponsor of Christopher Columbus and colonizer of Cuba, Mexico, and much of the future United States -- explored and exploited the New World more than any other nation, under the banner of "Christianization." Historian Resndez's splendid account shows that pious Spain's true desire was gold, exemplified in Hernn Corts's devastating conquest of the Aztecs, after which breathtaking riches were shipped back. In the same vein, ambitious explorer/conqueror Pnfilo de Narvez mounted a massive expedition to Florida in 1528, which included Royal Treasurer Cabeza de Vaca. A Caribbean hurricane drove the flotilla 900 miles off course, and after landing, the Spaniards began an ill-fated overland search for gold. Only 4 out of 300 would survive the journey, including Cabeza de Vaca. His epic, nightmarish journey in the New World included a crossing the Gulf of Mexico by raft, fighting with hostile Indians, resorting to cannibalism, being taken as a slave, becoming a "medicine man," and walking from Texas to Mexico. Resndez's tirelessly researched and picaresque narrative describes every step of this dramatic survivalist adventure, while providing insightful background on topics like 16th-century navigation and Indian cultures. A Land So Strange will make you appreciate the comforts of home. --Chuck Leddy