Of the 300 Spanish explorers who set out to discover and conquer the wilderness of North America, only four returned -- after covering about 6,000 miles in the course of eight harrowing years. Cabeza de Vaca's incredible account of his 1528-1536 expedition of what is now the southern and southwestern United States and northern Mexico is unparalleled in the history of exploration. The first European to see and report sightings of the buffalo and the Mississippi River, he presents a narrative that crackles with excitement and suspense, from interactions with friendly and hostile Indians and observations on their culture, to passionate descriptions of the pristine beauty of the American wilderness.
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