Biography of the conqueror of Mexico, a work of exhaustive scholarship, which supplies the reader with a fresh viewpoint. From the foreboding of Motecucuma, (the author's spelling of the more familiar Montezuma) to the early life and experiences of Cortas, his to leadership and his famous deeds, his death -- a story of the time and of the man who rises above men, then and now, of the contrast of two civilizations and worlds, Indian and Spanish. It underlines the pattern of Cortes' character, the turning points of his conquest of an undreamed of world. It examines all phases of interpretation, giving a portrait of light and shade, depths and highlights. And the result is impressive, never pedantic nor remote. Excellent companion piece to his Christopher Columbus, and not as controversial.