Five hundred years ago, the army of conquest led by Hernan Cortés marched hundreds of miles across a rugged swath of land from Veracruz on the Mexican Caribbean to the capital city of the Aztecs, now Mexico City. This journey was the catalyst for profound cultural and political change in Mesoamerica. Today, many Mexicans view the Ruta de Cortés as a symbol of an event that forever changed the course of their history. But few U.S. Americans understand how the conquest still affects Mexicans’ national identity and their relationship with the United States.
Following the route of Hernán Cortés, In the Shadow of Cortés offers a visual and cultural history of the legacy of contact between Spaniards and indigenous civilizations. The book is a reflective journey that presents a diversity of voices, images, and ideas about history and conquest. Specialist in Mexican culture Kathleen Ann Myers teams up with prize-winning translators and photographers to offer a unique reading experience that combines accessible interpretative essays with beautifully translated interviews and dozens of historical and contemporary black-and-white and color images, including some by award-winner Steven Raymer. The result offers readers multiple perspectives on these pivotal events as imagined and re-envisioned today by Mexicans both in their homeland and in the United States.
In the Shadow of Cortés offers an extensive visual narrative about conquest and, ultimately, about Mexican history. It traces the symbolic geography of the conquest and shows how the historical memory of colonialism continues to shape lives today.