Matthew Restall is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History, Anthropology, and Women's Studies, and Director of Latin American Studies at Penn State University

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"Restall has a well-earned reputation as a myth-buster in the history of the New World ... [When Montezuma Met Cortés is] a lively, original, and readable book aimed at a wider audience"The Wall Street Journal

"Restall skillfully describes a subtler story of relationships both loving and coercive ... a particularly bold interpretation ... "—The New Yorker

He has the “audacity to see the ‘conquest’ of Latin America with a gimlet eye"—Marie Aranda in The New York Times

"Matthew Restall's book is a wonderful addition to a number of fields, most prominently Latin American history, slave and Diaspora studies, ethnohistory, and Atlantic world history...The book's eloquence and revisionism ensure that it will be widely read and influential."​


—Jeremy Baskes, Enterprise and Society



Matthew Restall, an historian of Latin America, is Sparks Professor of History, Anthropology and Women's Studies at the Pennsylvania State University.

His sister is Emma Restall Orr, the neo-Druid author. His father is the ornithologist and bird artist, Robin Restall. He is married to the art historian, Amara Solari.

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The Latest

His latest book, The Maya: A Very Short Introduction (co-authored with Amara Solari), is now available through Oxford University Press.


Also published in 2020, Restall's first book on music, Blue Moves, explores Elton John's misunderstood yet mature and ultimately successful1976 album.

Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest

This popular monograph, used for research and teaching alike, has been published in English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Editions in Chinese and Polish are forthcoming, and an updated edition will be published in 2021.

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