Adventure and Rebellion
A Hero for the Americas re-examines the history of the Spanish conquest and Mayan resistance
Among our November releases is A Hero for the Americas: The Legend of Gonzalo Guerrero. Written by Governor General Award-winning author Robert Calder, this book delves into the story of the 16th-century Castilian adventurer Gonzalo Guerrero. As legend has it, Guerrero, shipwrecked on the Yucatán Peninsula in 1512, embraced the Mayan way of life and skillfully led the opposition to the Spanish take-over of the Yucatán.
Reviled in 16th-century Spain as an apostate and a traitor, Guerrero is today remembered all over the Yucatán with statues and images, and as the symbolic father of millions of Mexican mestizos. But like Robin Hood and King Arthur, Guerrero's story has become embellished by legend and myth. The product of fifteen years of research by a Governor General's Award winner, A Hero for the Americas is the first comprehensive investigation of this controversial figure.
"With good research and skillful storytelling, Calder delves into a fascinating, little-known piece of the history of Spanish colonization in Central America... He describes Darién, the first Spanish settlement on mainland America, as well as the atrocities of the conquistadors, the conquest of Aztec empire, and the battle for Yucatán, and he does it all in a concise, entertaining writing style that will appeal to any inquisitive reader interested in history and tales of adventure." - Publishers Weekly
"Calder tries to put Guerrero in his proper historical context, contrasting him with his contemporaries and examining his presumed role as the father of the first mestizos and a key symbol of Mexico's past.... a strong portrait of both the man and his era, and a worthy biography." - Foreword Reviews
"The extraordinary tale of Gonzalo Guerrero... has long cried out for a good retelling in English. In this lively and well-written book, Robert Calder steers deftly between history and myth, following the story through to its cultural implications today." - Ronald Wright, author of Time Among the Maya and The Gold Eaters
"Explores the legend of a little-known Spaniard who rose from slave to captain. Well-researched and full of tantalizing details, A Hero for the Americas recreates a world of adventure, discovery, and rebellion." - Lori May, author of The Write Crowd
"Using original Mayan sources... he has put together a convincing and compelling re-examination of the history of the Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerica." - Wayne Grady, author of Bringing Back the Dodo