Tzvetan Todorov’s Book on the Conquest of America


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Essay #: 060091
Total text length is 14,995 characters (approximately 10.3 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Tzvetan Todorov’s Book on the Conquest of America
This paper is an extensive review of Tzvetan Todorov’s book, The Conquest of America – The Question of the Other; this book, which is rather controversial in parts, is productive because it does add layers of understanding to the images that have passed down to us of the early European conquerors of America. To start with, the paper shall review how Todorov does an excellent job of showing that Columbus was a man informed by his prejudices and by his cultural suppositions; at the same time, Todorov does not dismiss Columbus’ humanity and reveals him as being more than an unscrupulous and gold-hungry opportunist. Later, the book does a commendable job of explaining how the indigenous peoples...
The end:
.....f Christian, European culture for generations to come.
In the end, the Todorov book is a good introduction to the conquest of the New World – and is especially worth reading because of what it has to say about Christopher Columbus and some of the other early conquerors/discovers of the New World. As much as anything else, Todorov reminds us that nothing is written in stone and that the natives could have resisted the Europeans (with some success) had they been more decisive in doing so; the conquerors were not as omnipotent as some historians, eager to make the natives into agent-less victims, suggest.
Works Cited
Todorov Tzvetan. The Conquest of the Other – The Question of the Other. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.