In 1541, Girolamo Benzoni left his native Milan for a fifteen-year trip through South and Central America. He published this account of his travels in 1565. Shocked by experiences of Spanish cruelty toward the Indians, Benzoni denounced the mistreatment. He also criticized importation of African slaves. Although Benzoni has been criticized for exaggeration, his work provides a compact history of the Americas from the arrival of Columbus to the conquest of Peru, from firsthand perspective not colored by Spanish bias. His crude woodcut illustrations give a glimpse of indigenous life before it was altered by European civilization.