I try not to read history books written after 1960. It's an arbitrary date, but it represents the transition from history books as history to social justice advocacy essays. Admiral of the Ocean Sea was written in the late 1930s and early 1940s by a fellow who sailed Columbus' route. He knows from whence he speaks and he works very hard to be as historically accurate as possible. In contrast, my daughter's high school history textbooks were practically free of information and instead focused on social justice narratives.
As I listen to this and after listening to others such as The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Stanley's accounts of his travels in Africa, it struck me how very weird it is to have come up with the Europeans-as-oppressors narrative. The Africans were enslaving each other and fighting wars of conquest, the Aztecs were committing acts of sadism on an industrial scale and the German tribes were warlike and vicious. What differentiated them from their conquerors was their ignorance and incompetence. The worst you can say of the Europeans is that they were just better at behaving according to the standards of the time.
If the Africans, Aztecs and Germans had been as studious and industrious as the Europeans and Romans, they certainly would have been perpetrating precisely the crimes against humanity that we all love to blame on the Europeans. In fact, they probably would have been much, much worse.
I would argue that the assessments of the natives made at the time by the conquerors themselves were more accurate than the misty-eyed romantic ideals of them we embrace today. As Dennis Green might say, the Aztecs / Africans / Germans were who we thought they were and we've let them off the hook.