A Book of Conquest
Manan Ahmed Asif Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress BP173.7.A4835 2016 | Dewey Decimal 954.918021
Manan Ahmed Asif shows that the Chachnama is a sophisticated work of political theory, embedded in both the Indic and Islamic ethos. His social and intellectual history of this text offers an important corrective to the divisions between Muslim and Hindu that so often define Pakistani and Indian politics today.
Since Germany became a colonial power relatively late, postcolonial theorists and histories of colonialism have thus far paid little attention to it. Uncovering Germany’s colonial legacy and imagination, Susanne Zantop reveals the significance of colonial fantasies—a kind of colonialism without colonies—in the formation of German national identity. Through readings of historical, anthropological, literary, and popular texts, Zantop explores imaginary colonial encounters of "Germans" with "natives" in late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century literature, and shows how these colonial fantasies acted as a rehearsal for actual colonial ventures in Africa, South America, and the Pacific. From as early as the sixteenth century, Germans preoccupied themselves with an imaginary drive for colonial conquest and possession that eventually grew into a collective obsession. Zantop illustrates the gendered character of Germany’s colonial imagination through critical readings of popular novels, plays, and travel literature that imagine sexual conquest and surrender in colonial territory—or love and blissful domestic relations between colonizer and colonized. She looks at scientific articles, philosophical essays, and political pamphlets that helped create a racist colonial discourse and demonstrates that from its earliest manifestations, the German colonial imagination contained ideas about a specifically German national identity, different from, if not superior to, most others.
Juliet Barker Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress DC102.B275 2012 | Dewey Decimal 944.026
Barker tells the dramatic story of the thirty years when England ruled France at the point of a sword. Henry V’s second invasion of France in 1417 launched a campaign that would place the crown of France on an English head. The appearance of a visionary peasant girl, Joan of Arc, was able to halt the English advance, but not for long.
Few topics in South Asian history are as contentious as that of the Turkic conquest of the Indian subcontinent that began in the twelfth century and led to a long period of Muslim rule. How is a historian supposed to write honestly about the bloody history of the conquest without falling into communitarian traps?
Conquest and Community is Shahid Amin's answer. Covering more than eight hundred years of history, the book centers on the enduringly popular saint Ghazi Miyan, a youthful soldier of Islam whose shrines are found all over India. Amin details the warrior saint’s legendary exploits, then tracks the many ways he has been commemorated in the centuries since. The intriguing stories, ballads, and proverbs that grew up around Ghazi Miyan were, Amin shows, a way of domesticating the conquest—recognizing past conflicts and differences but nevertheless bringing diverse groups together into a community of devotees. What seems at first glance to be the story of one mythical figure becomes an allegory for the history of Hindu-Muslim relations over an astonishingly long period of time, and a timely contribution to current political and historical debates.
From flea bites to galaxies, from love affairs to shadows, Paul Feyerabend reveled in the sensory and intellectual abundance that surrounds us. He found it equally striking that human senses and human intelligence are able to take in only a fraction of these riches. "This a blessing, not a drawback," he writes. "A superconscious organism would not be superwise, it would be paralyzed." This human reduction of experience to a manageable level is the heart of Conquest of Abundance, the book on which Feyerabend was at work when he died in 1994.
Prepared from drafts of the manuscript left at his death, working notes, and lectures and articles Feyerabend wrote while the larger work was in progress, Conquest of Abundance offers up rich exploration and startling insights with the charm, lucidity, and sense of mischief that are his hallmarks. Feyerabend is fascinated by how we attempt to explain and predict the mysteries of the natural world, and he looks at the ways in which we abstract experience, explain anomalies, and reduce wonder to formulas and equations. Through his exploration of the positive and negative consequences of these efforts, Feyerabend reveals the "conquest of abundance" as an integral part of the history and character of Western civilization.
"Paul Feyerabend . . . was the Norman Mailer of philosophy. . . . brilliant, brave, adventurous, original and quirky."—Richard Rorty, New Republic
"As much a smudged icon as a philosophical position holder, [Feyerabend] was alluring and erotic, a torch singer for philosophical anarchy."—Nancy Maull, New York Times Book Review
"[A] kind of final testament of Feyerabend's thought . . . Conquest of Abundance is as much the product of a brilliant, scintillating style as of an immense erudition and culture. . . . This book is as abundant and rich as the world it envisions."—Arkady Plotnitsky, Chicago Tribune
The Conquest of Bread presents the clearest statement of Kropotkin’s anarchist social doctrines. It possesses a lucidity of style not often found in books on social themes. In Kropotkin’s own description, the book is “a study of the needs of humanity, and the economic means to satisfy them”. Taking the Paris Commune as its model, its paramount aim is to show how a social revolution can be made and how a society, organized on libertarian lines, can then be built on the ruins of the old. Form Stirner’s individualism, Proudhon’s mutualism and Bakunin’s collectivism Kropotkin proceeded to the principle of “anarchist communism”, by which private property and inequality of income would give way to the free distribution of goods and services. In summing up his beliefs he said, “The anarchists conceive a society in which all the mutual relations of its members are regulated… by mutual agreements between the members of the society and by a sum of social customs and habits…continually developing and continually readjusting in accordance with the ever-growing requirements of a free life stimulated by the progress of science, invention and the steady growth of higher ideals.” In his introduction, George Woodcock throws a modern light on the significance and scope of Kropotkin’s work.
While the youth counterculture remains the most evocative and best-remembered symbol of the cultural ferment of the 1960s, the revolution that shook American business during those boom years has gone largely unremarked. In this fascinating and revealing study, Thomas Frank shows how the youthful revolutionaries were joined—and even anticipated —by such unlikely allies as the advertising industry and the men's clothing business.
"[Thomas Frank is] perhaps the most provocative young cultural critic of the moment."—Gerald Marzorati, New York Times Book Review
"An indispensable survival guide for any modern consumer."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Frank makes an ironclad case not only that the advertising industry cunningly turned the countercultural rhetoric of revolution into a rallying cry to buy more stuff, but that the process itself actually predated any actual counterculture to exploit."—Geoff Pevere, Toronto Globe and Mail
"The Conquest of Cool helps us understand why, throughout the last third of the twentieth century, Americans have increasingly confused gentility with conformity, irony with protest, and an extended middle finger with a populist manifesto. . . . His voice is an exciting addition to the soporific public discourse of the late twentieth century."—T. J. Jackson Lears, In These Times
"An invaluable argument for anyone who has ever scoffed at hand-me-down counterculture from the '60s. A spirited and exhaustive analysis of the era's advertising."—Brad Wieners, Wired Magazine
"Tom Frank is . . . not only old-fashioned, he's anti-fashion, with a place in his heart for that ultimate social faux pas, leftist politics."—Roger Trilling, Details
As Spain rebuilt its colonial regime in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines after the Spanish American revolutions, it turned to history to justify continued dominance. The metropolitan vision of history, however, always met with opposition in the colonies.
The Conquest of History examines how historians, officials, and civic groups in Spain and its colonies forged national histories out of the ruins and relics of the imperial past. By exploring controversies over the veracity of the Black Legend, the location of Christopher Columbus’s mortal remains, and the survival of indigenous cultures, Christopher Schmidt-Nowara’s richly documented study shows how history became implicated in the struggles over empire. It also considers how these approaches to the past, whether intended to defend or to criticize colonial rule, called into being new postcolonial histories of empire and of nations.
The Roman Empire has been a source of inspiration and a model for imitation for Western empires practically since the moment Rome fell. Yet, as Julia Hell shows in The Conquest of Ruins, what has had the strongest grip on aspiring imperial imaginations isn’t that empire’s glory but its fall—and the haunting monuments left in its wake.
Hell examines centuries of European empire-building—from Charles V in the sixteenth century and Napoleon’s campaigns of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries to the atrocities of Mussolini and the Third Reich in the 1930s and ’40s—and sees a similar fascination with recreating the Roman past in the contemporary image. In every case—particularly that of the Nazi regime—the ruins of Rome seem to represent a mystery to be solved: how could an empire so powerful be brought so low? Hell argues that this fascination with the ruins of greatness expresses a need on the part of would-be conquerors to find something to ward off a similar demise for their particular empire.
The Conquest of The Illinois
George Rogers Clark. Foreword by Rand Burnette Southern Illinois University Press, 2001 Library of Congress E234.C55 2001 | Dewey Decimal 973.334
Written only a decade after George Rogers Clark’s conquest of Illinois, this firsthand account shows the region as it existed in the 1770s, explains how British occupation affected Kentucky settlers, and exhibits Clark’s enormous diplomatic skills in convincing the French settlers and Indians along the rivers of Illinois that they were better off under the jurisdiction of the Americans rather than the British. In his new foreword to this book, Rand Burnette refers to Clark as a psychologist and an expert in human relations.
Believing the British responsible for Indian raids on the people of Kentucky, Clark determined to capture that area, which was claimed by his home state of Virginia. “His plan, which he presented to Governor Patrick Henry,” Burnette notes, “was to take possession of the Illinois country by defeating the British at Kaskaskia, win the support of the French in that area, and thus control both the Mississippi and the Ohio Rivers. The British support of the Indians, who raided the Kentucky settlements from the Illinois country, would be at an end.”
Clark’s stirring narrative—written between 1789 and 1791 and covering 1773–1779—chronicles the events in the Old Northwest in the second half of the eighteenth century. Life on the frontier was dangerous and uncertain at this time. As Clark points out and Milo Milton Quaife underlines in his footnotes, death came to many at the hands of Indians or in military battles and skirmishes.
First published in 1920 and long out of print, the Quaife edition of Clark’s The Conquest of The Illinois reprinted here is for the modern reader superior to the original. First, Quaife provided an index. Equally important for modern readers, he standardized Clark’s spelling. (Clark had little formal education, and his spelling was even more eccentric than that found in a typical eighteenth-century account.) Finally, Quaife’s footnotes often include biographical sketches of the people in the book.
Spanning nine time zones, the Russian Arctic was mostly unexplored before the twentieth century. Paul Josephson describes the massive effort under Stalin to assimilate the Arctic into the Soviet empire--effects still being felt today, as Putin redoubles efforts to secure the Arctic, which he sees as key to Russia's economic and military status.
In this revolutionary text, prominent Native American studies scholar and activist Andrea Smith reveals the connections between different forms of violence—perpetrated by the state and by society at large—and documents their impact on Native women. Beginning with the impact of the abuses inflicted on Native American children at state-sanctioned boarding schools from the 1880s to the 1980s, Smith adroitly expands our conception of violence to include the widespread appropriation of Indian cultural practices by whites and other non-Natives; environmental racism; and population control. Smith deftly connects these and other examples of historical and contemporary colonialism to the high rates of violence against Native American women—the most likely to suffer from poverty-related illness and to survive rape and partner abuse. Smith also outlines radical and innovative strategies for eliminating gendered violence.
With the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in the 1880s came the emergence of a modern and profoundly multicultural New Mexico. Native Americans, working-class Mexicans, elite Hispanos, and black and white newcomers all commingled and interacted in the territory in ways that had not been previously possible. But what did it mean to be white in this multiethnic milieu? And how did ideas of sexuality and racial supremacy shape ideas of citizenry and determine who would govern the region?
Coyote Nation considers these questions as it explores how New Mexicans evaluated and categorized racial identities through bodily practices. Where ethnic groups were numerous and—in the wake of miscegenation—often difficult to discern, the ways one dressed, bathed, spoke, gestured, or even stood were largely instrumental in conveying one's race. Even such practices as cutting one's hair, shopping, drinking alcohol, or embalming a deceased loved one could inextricably link a person to a very specific racial identity.
A fascinating history of an extraordinarily plural and polyglot region, Coyote Nation will be of value to historians of race and ethnicity in American culture.
Dazzled by the sight of the vast treasure of gold and silver being unloaded at Seville’s docks in 1537, a teenaged Pedro de Cieza de León vowed to join the Spanish effort in the New World, become an explorer, and write what would become the earliest historical account of the conquest of Peru. Available for the first time in English, this history of Peru is based largely on interviews with Cieza’s conquistador compatriates, as well as with Indian informants knowledgeable of the Incan past. Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook present this recently discovered third book of a four-part chronicle that provides the most thorough and definitive record of the birth of modern Andean America. It describes with unparalleled detail the exploration of the Pacific coast of South America led by Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, the imprisonment and death of the Inca Atahualpa, the Indian resistance, and the ultimate Spanish domination. Students and scholars of Latin American history and conquest narratives will welcome the publication of this volume.
Through a detailed unpacking of the castaway genre’s appeal in English literature, Empire Islands forwards our understanding of the sociopsychology of British Empire. Rebecca Weaver-Hightower argues convincingly that by helping generations of readers to make sense of—and perhaps feel better about—imperial aggression, the castaway story in effect enabled the expansion and maintenance of European empire.Empire Islands asks why so many colonial authors chose islands as the setting for their stories of imperial adventure and why so many postcolonial writers “write back” to those island castaway narratives. Drawing on insightful readings of works from Thomas More’s Utopia to Caribbean novels like George Lamming’s Water with Berries, from canonical works such as Robinson Crusoe and The Tempest to the lesser-known A Narrative of the Life and Astonishing Adventures of John Daniel by Ralph Morris, Weaver-Hightower examines themes of cannibalism, piracy, monstrosity, imperial aggression, and the concept of going native. Ending with analysis of contemporary film and the role of the United States in global neoimperialism, Weaver-Hightower exposes how island narratives continue not only to describe but to justify colonialism.Rebecca Weaver-Hightower is assistant professor of English and postcolonial studies at the University of North Dakota.
In Enchanted Islands, renowned art historian Mary D. Sheriff explores the legendary, fictional, and real islands that filled the French imagination during the ancien regime as they appeared in royal ballets and festivals, epic literature, paintings, engravings, book illustrations, and other objects. Some of the islands were mythical and found in the most popular literary texts of the day—islands featured prominently, for instance, in Ariosto’s Orlando furioso,Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata, and Fénelon’s, Telemachus. Other islands—real ones, such as Tahiti and St. Domingue—the French learned about from the writings of travelers and colonists. All of them were imagined to be the home of enchantresses who used magic to conquer heroes by promising sensual and sexual pleasure. As Sheriff shows, the theme of the enchanted island was put to many uses. Kings deployed enchanted-island mythology to strengthen monarchical authority, as Louis XIV did in his famous Versailles festival Les Plaisirs de l’île enchantée. Writers such as Fénelon used it to tell morality tales that taught virtue, duty, and the need for male strength to triumph over female weakness and seduction. Yet at the same time, artists like Boucher painted enchanted islands to portray art’s purpose as the giving of pleasure. In all these ways and more, Sheriff demonstrates for the first time the centrality of enchanted islands to ancient regime culture in a book that will enchant all readers interested in the art, literature, and history of the time.
Two of the world’s leading scholars of the Aztec language and culture have translated Sahagún’s monumental and encyclopedic study of native life in Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest. This immense undertaking is the first complete translation into any language of Sahagún’s Nahuatl text, and represents one of the most distinguished contributions in the fields of anthropology, ethnography, and linguistics.
Written between 1540 and 1585, the Florentine Codex (so named because the manuscript has been part of the Laurentian Library’s collections since at least 1791) is the most authoritative statement we have of the Aztecs’ lifeways and traditions—a rich and intimate yet panoramic view of a doomed people.
The Florentine Codex is divided by subject area into twelve books and includes over 2,000 illustrations drawn by Nahua artists in the sixteenth century.
Book Twelve contains a meticulous retelling of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, from the days leading up to the first arrival of Cortes to the eventual submission of the Tlatilulcans, the Tenochtitlans, and their rulers to the Spaniards.
In the summer of 1862, the U.S. Army court martialed Colonel John B. Turchin, a Russian-born Union officer, for offenses committed by his troops in Athens, Alabama, including looting, safe cracking, the vandalization of homes, and the rape of young black woman. The pillage of Athens violated a government policy of conciliation; it was hoped that if Southern civilians were treated gently as citizens of the United States, they would soon return their allegiance to the federal government.
By examining the volunteers who made up Turchin’s force, the colonel's trial, his subsequent promotion, the policy debate surrounding the incident and the public reaction to the outcome, the authors further illuminate one of the most provocative questions in Civil War studies: how did the policy set forth by President Lincoln evolve from one of conciliation to one far more modern in nature, placing the burden of war on the civilian population of the South?
From Conquest to Conservation is a visionary new work from three of the nation’s most knowledgeable experts on public lands. As chief of the Forest Service, Mike Dombeck became a lightning rod for public debate over issues such as the management of old-growth forests and protecting roadless areas. Dombeck also directed the Bureau of Land Management from 1994 to 1997 and is the only person ever to have led the two largest land management agencies in the United States. Chris Wood and Jack Williams have similarly spent their careers working to steward public resources, and the authors bring unparalleled insight into the challenges facing public lands and how those challenges can be met.
Here, they examine the history of public lands in the United States and consider the most pressing environmental and social problems facing public lands. Drawing heavily on fellow Forest Service employee Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, they offer specific suggestions for new directions in policy and management that can help maintain and restore the health, diversity, and productivity of public land and water resources, both now and into the future.
Also featured are lyrical and heartfelt essays from leading writers, thinkers, and scientists— including Bruce Babbitt, Rick Bass, Patricia Nelson Limerick, and Gaylord Nelson—about the importance of public lands and the threats to them, along with original drawings by William Millonig.
Invasion and Transformation examines the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire and transformations in political, social, cultural, and religious life in Mexico during the Conquest and the ensuing colonial period. In particular, contributors consider the ways in which the Conquest itself was remembered, both in its immediate aftermath and in later centuries.
Was Moteuczoma really as weak as history portrayed him? As Susan D. Gillespie instead suggests in "Blaming Moteuczoma," the representation of Moteuczoma as a scapegoat for the Aztec defeat can be understood as a product of indigenous resistance and accommodation following the imposition of Spanish colonialism. Chapters address the various roles (real and imagined) of Moteuczoma, Cortés, and Malinche in the fall of the Aztecs; the representation of history in colonial art; and the complex cultural transformations that actually took place.
Including full-color reproductions of seventeenth-century paintings of the Conquest, Invasion and Transformation will appeal to scholars and students of Latin American history and anthropology, art history, colonial literature, and transatlantic studies. Contributors include Rebecca P. Brienen, Louise M. Burkhart, Ximena Chávez Balderas, Constance Cortez, Viviana Diáz Balsera, Martha Few, Susan D. Gillespie, Margaret A. Jackson, Diana Magaloni Kerpel, Matthew Restall, Michael Schreffler.
Doak explores how the giants of the Hebrew Bible—which represent a connection to primeval chaos—offer insight into central aspects of Israel’s symbolic universe. By placing biblical traditions within a broader Mediterranean context regarding giants and the end of the heroic age, Doak sheds new light on monotheism and monarchy in ancient Israel.
As the quincentenary of Columbus’s first voyage was approaching, Latin American authors vied to finish novels rewriting the conquest in order to have them published in the years surrounding 1992. Surprisingly, few of these novels attempted to reconstruct the indigenous perspective on this historical moment, focusing instead on representing the European conquerors. In Latin American Novels of the Conquest, Kimberle López focuses on five of these works: Juan José Saer’s El entenado; Herminio Martínez’s Diario maldito de Nuño de Guzmán; Abel Posse’s El largo atardecer del caminante; and Homero Aridjis’s 1492: Vida y tiempos de Juan Cabezón de Castilla and Memorias del Nuevo Mundo. She utilizes these books to explore how their authors represented the conquest from the fictionalized perspective of the conquistador, ultimately deconstructing the rhetoric of empire through the representation of a simultaneous fascination and aversion between the colonizer and colonized.
The fictionalized explorers and conquistadors represented in this corpus all identify with certain aspects of Amerindian culture—significantly, those elements that are most distinct from European culture, such as cannibalism and human sacrifice—but also feel the need to distance themselves from these “others” in order to protect their own European cultural identity. In most cases, the conquistadors themselves are represented as outsiders within the enterprise of imperialism, due to ethnic, religious, or sexual differences from the norm. This representation turns the gaze inward toward the “other” within European culture, underscoring the complex origins of Latin American cultures in the violent encounter between the Amerindians and the conquistadors.
By examining these issues, Lopéz’s Latin American Novels of the Conquest illuminates the ways in which Latin American novelists used their literary imaginations to embody their ambivalence regarding their own transcultural heritage as children of both the colonized and the colonizer.
In 1754, Charles de Raymond, chevalier of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Louis and a captain in the Troupes de la Marine wrote a bold, candid, and revealing expose; on the French colonial posts and settlements of New France. On the Eve of the Conquest, more than an annotated translation, includes a discussion on the historical background of the start of the French and Indian War, as well as a concise biography of Raymond and Michel Le Courtois de Surlaville, the army colonel at the French court to whom the report was sent. The events surrounding Raymond's controversial year as commandant of the post (now Fort Wayne, Indiana) in 1749-50, his disputed recall by Governor General Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquier, and the subsequent friction between La Jonquiere's successor, Ange de Menneville Duqesne, and Raymond are presented in detail and illustrated by translations of their correspondence.
Winner Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award
For thousands of years, humans have lived on the sprawling escarpment in Arizona known as the Mogollon Rim, a stretch that separates the valleys of central Arizona from the mountains of the north. A vast portion of this dramatic landscape is the traditional home of the Dilzhe’e (Tonto Apache) and the Yavapai. Now Daniel Herman offers a compelling narrative of how—from 1864 to 1934—the Dilzhe’e and the Yavapai came to central Arizona, how they were conquered, how they were exiled, how they returned to their homeland, and how, through these events, they found renewal.
Herman examines the complex, contradictory, and very human relations between Indians, settlers, and Federal agents in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Arizona—a time that included Arizona’s brutal Indian wars. But while most tribal histories stay within the borders of the reservation, Herman also chronicles how Indians who left the reservation helped build a modern state with dams, hydroelectricity, roads, and bridges. With thoughtful detail and incisive analysis, Herman discusses the complex web of interactions between Apache, Yavapai, and Anglos that surround every aspect of the story.
Rim Country Exodus is part of a new movement in Western history emphasizing survival rather than disappearance. Just as important, this is one of the first in-depth studies of the West that examines race as it was lived. Race was formulated, Herman argues, not only through colonial and scientific discourses, but also through day-to-day interactions between Indians, agents, and settlers. Rim Country Exodus offers an important new perspective on the making of the West.
A Story of Conquest and Adventure: The Large Farāmarznāme presents a poem from the Persian epic cycle dated to the late eleventh century in an English prose translation for the first time. The story tells how Farāmarz, a son of the famous Shāhnāme hero Rostam, conquers several provinces of India, before setting off on an extensive voyage over sea and land, leading his troops through a number of hazardous situations in various fictional countries. Finding love and battling men, demons, and various ferocious animals, the epic hero comes to life in this riveting translation.
Why and how do debates about the form and disposition of our Earth shape enlightened subjectivity and secular worldliness in colonial modernity? Sumathi Ramaswamy explores this question for British India with the aid of the terrestrial globe, which since the sixteenth century has circulated as a worldly symbol, a scientific instrument, and not least an educational tool for inculcating planetary consciousness.
In Terrestrial Lessons, Ramaswamy provides the first in-depth analysis of the globe’s history in and impact on the Indian subcontinent during the colonial era and its aftermath. Drawing on a wide array of archival sources, she delineates its transformation from a thing of distinction possessed by elite men into that mass-produced commodity used in classrooms worldwide—the humble school globe. Traversing the length and breadth of British India, Terrestrial Lessons is an unconventional history of this master object of pedagogical modernity that will fascinate historians of cartography, science, and Asian studies.
The askari, African soldiers recruited in the 1890s to fill the ranks of the German East African colonial army, occupy a unique space at the intersection of East African history, German colonial history, and military history.
Lauded by Germans for their loyalty during the East Africa campaign of World War I, but reviled by Tanzanians for the violence they committed during the making of the colonial state between 1890 and 1918, the askari have been poorly understood as historical agents. Violent Intermediaries situates them in their everyday household, community, military, and constabulary roles, as men who helped make colonialism in German East Africa.
By linking microhistories with wider nineteenth-century African historical processes, Michelle Moyd shows how as soldiers and colonial intermediaries, the askari built the colonial state while simultaneously carving out paths to respectability, becoming men of influence within their local contexts.
Through its focus on the making of empire from the ground up, Violent Intermediaries offers a fresh perspective on African colonial troops as state-making agents and critiques the mythologies surrounding the askari by focusing on the nature of colonial violence.
How is it possible that in 1521 five-hundred Spanish soldiers defeated the most powerful military force in Middle America? The answer lies not in western firearms, as we have been taught, but rather in the differences between the Aztec and Spanish cultures. Differing concepts of warfare and diplomacy, reinforced by tensions and stresses within the Aztec political system and its supporting religious beliefs, allowed Cortés to systematically gain and hold the military and diplomatic advantages that gave the Spaniards the day, the war, and the continent.
Studies of the Spanish conquest in the Americas traditionally have explained European-Indian encounters in terms of such factors as geography, timing, and the charisma of individual conquistadores. Yet by reconsidering this history from the perspective of gender roles and relations, we see that gender ideology was a key ingredient in the glue that held the conquest together and in turn shaped indigenous behavior toward the conquerors. This book tells the hidden story of women during the missionization of California. It shows what it was like for women to live and work on that frontier—and how race, religion, age, and ethnicity shaped female experiences. It explores the suppression of women's experiences and cultural resistance to domination, and reveals the many codes of silence regarding the use of force at the missions, the treatment of women, indigenous ceremonies, sexuality, and dreams.
Virginia Bouvier has combed a vast array of sources— including mission records, journals of explorers and missionaries, novels of chivalry, and oral histories— and has discovered that female participation in the colonization of California was greater and earlier than most historians have recognized. Viewing the conquest through the prism of gender, Bouvier gives new meaning to the settling of new lands and attempts to convert indigenous peoples. By analyzing the participation of women— both Hispanic and Indian— in the maintenance of or resistance to the mission system, Bouvier restores them to the narrative of the conquest, colonization, and evangelization of California. And by bringing these voices into the chorus of history, she creates new harmonies and dissonances that alter and enhance our understanding of both the experience and meaning of conquest.