The Last Days of the Incas

The Last Days of the Incas

Book - 2007
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Documents the epic conquest of the Inca Empire as well as the decades-long insurgency waged by the Incas against the Conquistadors, in a narrative history that is partially drawn from the storytelling traditions of the Peruvian Amazon Yora people. 35,000 first printing.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, c2007
ISBN: 9780743260497
Branch Call Number: 985.02 MAC
Characteristics: xv, 522 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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ChristchurchLib Jan 12, 2015

In The Last Days of the Incas, Emmy-winning film maker and author Kim MacQuarrie offers a balanced and engaging account of the Incas, who ruled a 2500-mile-long stretch of western South America at the time the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in 1526. MacQuarrie examines Spanish correspondence that depicts their encounters with the Incas, and he traces the explorations of 20th-century archaeologists, including Hiram Bingham and Gene Savoy. His riveting narration brings to life the Incas' civilization, their fatal clashes with the Conquistadors, and the dramatic discoveries of the ruins of Machu Picchu and Vilcabamba. History and Current Events January 2015 newsletter.

p
petehoover98118
Feb 28, 2014

In the US, we were taught that with 168 men and 70 horses, Pizarro conquered the Incas and destroyed their culture. Of course, that story is quite untrue. Pizarro at best performed a kidnapping and assassination.
Atahualpa didn't get to be the most high Inca for long, but his brother who ruled after him Manco Inca, who we never talk about in the US, is the real hero of the story.
This book informs the reader a great deal about the world of Manco Inca, and how he decided to organize resistance to the Spanish, and perhaps helped explain why the later Spanish immigrants, who came with visions of gold in their eyes, managed to introduce some of their culture to a pre-formed civilization that in most ways is still actually intact to this day.

r
rsalvino1
Feb 22, 2013

I read this book twice. By reading it a second time I think I was hoping the ending would be different. Alas, I knew it wouldn't be.

The other reason for reading it a second time is that the author puts you inside a unique, very different, and amazing culture at the time that it is being ripped apart by goldthirsty Spanish conquistadors (aka mobsters). The portrait of the Inca is objective--no moralizing is done--but warts and all you can't help but wish their culture wasn't wiped out for a few thousand pounds of metal.

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