I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 1-8 March 2021

Latin American History Podcast In The Conquest of Mexico Episode 6 the presenter, Max Sarjeant, says that he is about half way through his planned series, and that for the last time he will explore Cortez’ character (which he sees as crazy-brave and impetuous) and the inevitability of the conquest of Mexico. He suspects that the ‘Montezuma thought Cortez was a god’ trope is a bit of ass-covering (not that he says that) and also that European conquest was an inevitability. In The Conquest of Mexico Episode 7, it’s all action with Cortez having to go off back to the coast to fight Spanish soldiers who had been sent from Cuba to stop his progress, then returning to find that the relationship had really deteriorated with the Aztecs. Montezuma died and the Spanish needed to escape Tenochtitlan. I watched the SBS series Hernan a while back, and this is the point where the series finished.

Heather Cox Richardson In her podcast of 5 February, Heather Cox Richardson turns her gaze westward, where, as she points out, the new areas being opened up already had well-established government systems, be they Spanish or Mexican. Treaties were signed with Indigenous tribes that were more a relationship with obligations rather than a land-ownership matter, and when the settlers did not keep up their side of the bargain, all bets were off. The indigenous people were purposely excluded from the 14th amendment, which is ironic given that the whole point of the Civil War was over men’s rights.

The Real Story (BBC) I like this podcast. It has experts who don’t necessarily settle into the expected left/right, liberal/conservative dichotomies. In China’s Advance into Latin America, the guests are a Brazilian economist, a former Mexican ambassador to China and two directors of academic programs- one at the centre for Inter-American Dialogue, and the other the director of Latin American programs at a Beijing University. Lots of parallels between Australia and Latin American countries, especially in terms of China’s use of market power for political outcomes.

Dan Snow’s History Hit. Carol Dyhouse, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Sussex talks about her book Love Lives: From Cinderella to Frozen. Her book of the same name examines how women’s (and mens???) attitudes to love have changed since 1950, when Disney’s Cinderella was released, up to the present day. Actually, there’s an interesting timeline to accompany the book on the OUP blog here.

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