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The Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas (1485–1566) was a prominent chronicler of the early Spanish conquest of the Americas, a noted protector of the American Indians and arguably the most significant figure in the early Spanish Empire after Christopher Columbus. Following an epiphany in 1514, Las Casas fought the Spanish control of the Indies for the rest of his life, writing vividly about the brutality of the Spanish conquistadors. Once a settler and exploiter of the American Indians, he became their defender, breaking ground for the modern human rights movement. Las Casas brought his understanding of Christian scripture to the forefront in his defense of the Indians, challenging the premise that the Indians of the New World were any less civilized or capable of practising Christianity than Europeans. Bartolomé de las Casas: A Biography is the first major English-language and scholarly biography of Las Casas' life in a generation.Read more
- Puts Bartolomé de las Casas squarely into the Christian tradition and Christian theology
- Explores Las Casas' various other roles as biographer, historian, ethnographer, proto-anthropologist, political theorist and so on
- First major original English-language and scholarly biography of Las Casas' life since 1967
Reviews & endorsements
'Finally las Casas has a biographer able to bring to life in intimate detail the career of the Dominican friar who was named 'Protector of the Indians'. A key figure in the struggle for human justice, las Casas dedicated his life to fighting against the abuses of the Amerindians by the Spanish. Clayton's landmark book, based on careful reading of thousands of pages of las Casas' writings, as well as writings by his enemies and supporters, provides the reader with a feeling for the real man, not just the myth. Beautifully written, it will become the new standard work on las Casas.' Noble David Cook, Florida International UniversitySee more reviews
'Clayton is the first Latin Americanist scholar in half a century to construct a full-length biography of las Casas. The result is a masterful achievement. This erudite, balanced, and readable history of the life and times of the legendary Dominican is likely to be the gold standard for the next half century.' Matthew Restall, coauthor of Latin America in Colonial Times
'… magisterial … Clayton offers an appreciative, and balanced portrait.' Thomas W. Jodziewics, Catholic Southwest
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- Date Published: June 2012
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107001213
- length: 504 pages
- dimensions: 236 x 159 x 32 mm
- weight: 0.81kg
- contains: 10 b/w illus. 8 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Seville and early modern Spain
2. To the Indies
3. The genesis of the Black Legend
5. Protector of the Indians
6. 'Micer' Las Casas at court looking for good Spanish peasants
7. Las Casas, the political animal
8. Catastrophe in Tierra Firme and the 'long sleep' in Puerto Plata
9. Coming out to battle
10. The new laws
11. Bishop of Chiapas
12. The great debate
13. Court activist and historian
14. The final fights.
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