THE BROKEN SWORD by Covelle Newcomb
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An inspired biography of Fray Bartolome De Las Casas presents an extensive and thoroughly adult view of a life spent winning battles for Justice in the Spanish South American colonies during the 16th century. A wealthy man in his early thirties and an owner of large estates in Santo Domingo, De Las Casas was known for his gaiety, but inside he was a troubled man who had eventually to face the social wrongs that had come to be personal problems for him. When he Joined the Dominican order to become Fray Bartolome he was as different from his former self as water is from ice. The main things Fray Bartolome fought during the following years in Cuba, Mexico and Guatemala were the pride and iniquities of the conquering landowners. Though some were self-effacing enough to want a measure of Justice for the Indians, the majority deemed it their right to take all in their path and then to use extreme measures to insure their dominance. Preaching strongly against this system, Fray Bartolome became a controversial figure open to attack, but at home in Spain he managed to have protective laws passed. These, if not obeyed were at least an important symbol of a Justice that has not yet been really lived up to. A thoughtful biography that is exciting reading too.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1955
Publisher: Dodd, Mead