The life of Hernando Cortéz is the story of how one man with a handful of loyal soldiers overcame a progressive Indian culture of over one million.

There was nothing in the character of this young man that set him apart from others, yet once chosen to be the leader of this great Conquest he could move only one direction: Forward. Months of terrible tragedy did not discourage him from the one goal, the Conquest of the Aztec Nation.

Whatever may be thought of the Conquest in a moral view, regarded as a military achievement it must fill us with astonishment. Cortéz and a handful of adventurers, indifferently armed and equipped, landed on the shores of a powerful empire inhabited by a fierce and warlike race, and forced their way into the interior.

This they did without knowledge of the language or of the land, without chart or compass to guide them, without any idea of the difficulties they were to encounter, totally uncertain whether the next step might bring them on a hostile nation, or on a desert, feeling their way along in the dark, as it were. This book, then, details their successes and failures until the goal was reached.

--Jim Hollingsworth

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