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This rugged new translation -- the first entirely new English translation in half a century and the only one based on the most recent critical edition of the Guatemalan MS -- allows Díaz to recount, in his own battle-weary and often cynical voice, the achievements, stratagems, and frequent cruelty of Hernándo Cortés and his men as they set out to overthrow Moctezuma's Aztec kingdom and establish a Spanish empire in the New World. The concise contextual introduction to this volume traces the origins, history, and methods of the Spanish enterprise in the Americas; it also discusses the nature of the conflict between the Spanish and the Aztecs in Mexico, and compares Díaz's version of events to those of other contemporary chroniclers. Editorial glosses summarise omitted portions, and substantial footnotes explain those terms, names, and cultural references in Díaz's text that may be unfamiliar to modern readers. A chronology of the Conquest is included, as are a guide to major figures, a select bibliography, and three maps.