Hugh Thomas: World Without End The Global Empire of Philip II



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A nonfiction book the third in a trilogy about the Spanish Empire This one focuses on the time period of King Philip s eign 1527 1598 though it s concerned with the country s new colonies than anything happening in Phili Well this was a pretty damn disappointing book Thomas is a historian from Britain who has written several books about Spain many from its imperial heyday So I was expecting this to be something than it was frankly Maybe my impressions going in were too high That s possible But this book Femmes, si vous saviez... : 83 questions-rponses, hormones, mnopause, ostoporose reminded me of a locally produced county history written in the 19th century just on a grander scale That s not a good thing What do I mean by that Well ever heard the story of a bunch of blindfolded men given a part of the elephant and asked to describe what theye holding One guy is given the tusk and has to describe it One the tail Another a leg The point is they have a sense of their section of the elephant but not much sense of the beast as a whole This book felt a little like that I never The Kaya-Girl really got a grand overall sense of this first global empire Here s some chapters on Iberia Now some on New Spain Now some on Peru Now some on the Paraguayegion Oh here s the Philippines It was all so compartmentalized Even within the chapters Thomas often takes a structural approach For example let s look at the opening sections on the government in Iberia itself Thomas Following Rivers of Gold and The Golden Age World Without End is the conclusion of a magisterial three volume history of the Spanish Empire by Hugh Thomas its foremost worldwide authority World Without End tells the story of life in a conuered terr.

Rimarily discusses the leading government institutions and then describes the people in charge of them and their personalities It eads like a political science primer circa 1576 I had some sense of what the officials were like but not much sense what Spain itself was like Then you do that same approach for each other section You learn about viceroys than the territories they uled sometimes This is what I mean when I say it s like a county history Those things were often compartmentalized histories focusing on the leading individuals in the county because they Omnibus Films re the ones who financed the county history in the first place There are some interesting moments You get the story of Aguirre the man behind the Werner Herzog film The most interesting thing from my perspective was how Spain intended to conuer China from the Philippines Those in charge figured that if Cortes defeated the Aztec and Pizarro the Inca why not us the Chinese Wow was that ever off It was also under Philip II that Portugal became part of Spain There was a dynastic dispute there and he inserted himself in the middle of it There are other nuggets here and there but my overalleaction is one of considerable disappointment Yeah this isn t nearly what I was hoping for when I picked it up Full disclosure I won this in a Goodreads giveaway Hugh Thomas charts the fascinating ise of the Spanish Empire begi. Itory that stretched from Cuba to Peru and of the final conuests of the greatest empire that the world had then seen since the fall of Rome 1000 years before By the time of Philip II's death and after his startling decision made in his final years.

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Nning in the Americas with New Spain and ending with the Spanish dominion of the Philippines The each of Spain truly was global with ambitions to go even further at the end of the period under discussion Spanish officials were making serious preparations for an invasion of China an idea which gradually fell by the wayside While moving through the mass of names in the work is occasionally challenging gaining a better idea of the inner workings of the colonial government and a nuanced picture of Philip II makes it well worth the effort Somewhat late in life I ve discovered Latin America and so have been looking for good general histories of the Spanish Conuest period While I found much in this and its companion books of great interest in the end the entire series was thoroughly unsatisfying Clearly the author is an expert in this field but these books would have benefited from an entirely critical editing process Finding the narrative and larger story in the midst of excessive pedantic details just becomes a hard slog This history looks at the Spanish Empire in Latin America and Asia The book begins with a discussion of conditions in Spain at the time and then looks at the colonies and their elationship with the mother country The book is well written and insightful but was a little hard to follow in some parts for someone unfamiliar with Spanish history and empire. Not to invade China the attentions of the colonists clergymen sailors soldiers and officials of the Spanish Empire were no longer turned to its expansion their focus instead became its management These were the decades in which modern history began.

Librarian’s note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this nameHugh Swynnerton Thomas Baron Thomas of Swynnerton was a British historian and HispanistThomas was educated at Sherborne School in Dorset before taking a BA in 1953 at ueens' College Cambridge He also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris His 1961 book The Spanish Civil War won the Somerset Maugham Award for