A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. by Bartolome de las Casas

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

Bartolome de las Casas. Penguin: 1992/1552.

Written by the “Friend of the Indians”, Las Casas was the first & perhaps fiercest critic of the Conquest and Spanish colonization of America (though, I was later to find out, this opinion only developed later in his life. He was always, however, all for Spanish presence in America, for the purpose of instructing the natives in the Christian faith.)

His account rarely gives names of the conquistadors and usually stays away from gruesome details. His estimates of casualties are notoriously & grossly exaggerated in his favor. Overally, an interesting read in conjunction with other narratives. The book was widely read at the time and has greatly influenced Europeans’ view of this period of history.