‘Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed’ by Edwin Barnhart

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Genres: History, Nonfiction, The Great Courses, Maya, Aztec, Archaeology

Similar books:

Previous books by the author/in the series: A History of Russia, Food: A Culinary Cultural History, Exploring the Roots of Religion

Rating: Highly Recommended Lecture Series

Here’s the TL;DR for my review (SPOILERS!):

  • Pros
    • I learned a lot about Mesoamerica Pre-Columbus, (and also Post-Columbus). I had no idea just how sophisticated they were.
  • Mixed
  • Cons

I’m keeping this review short because a. My hands hurt and b. very few people read my non-fiction reviews.

This was an all around solid lecture series. I think it might be one of my favorites (though honestly I love all the lecture series I’ve yet listened to).

Listening to this I learned about dozens of New World civilizations, from the Olmecs to the Aztecs to the Mayans, and even a little about how their still-living descendants are getting by today. From the Yucatan to the Caribbean to the Pacific, this is a broad overview of over four thousand years of history. The professor who taught this lecture really put into perspective the blip of history which is the Spanish->Mexican control of Mesoamerica. There have been dozens of empires which contested control of the continent long before the Europeans showed up and smashed the local cultures into dust.

That’s my 2 cents. Hopefully I encouraged one or two of you to check this out. I thought it was worth my time, and hopefully you’d think so too.

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