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Lost City of the Incas (Phoenix Press) [Paperback]

Hiram Bingham , Hugh Thomson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 April 2003 Phoenix Press
In 1911 Hiram Bingham, a pre-historian with a love of exotic destinations, set out to Peru in search of the legendary city of Vilcabamba, capital city of the last Inca ruler, Manco Inca. With a combination of doggedness and good fortune he stumbled on the perfectly preserved ruins of Machu Picchu perched on a cloud-capped ledge 2000 feet above the torrent of the Urubamba River. The buildings were of white granite, exquisitely carved blocks each higher than a man. Bingham had not, as it turned out, found Vilcabamba, but he had nevertheless made an astonishing and memorable discovery, which he describes in his bestselling book LOST CITY OF THE INCAS.

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Lost City of the Incas (Phoenix Press) + The Last Days Of The Incas + Turn Right At Machu Picchu
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (3 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842125850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842125854
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

First published in the 1950s, this is a classic account of the discovery in 1911 of the lost city of Machu Picchu.

About the Author

Hiram Bingham was born in Hawaii in 1875 and educated at Yale. His early expeditions to South America and his discovery of Machu Picchu were just the start of a long and colourful career: he went on to command air force troops in France during the First World War and to become a Senator. He died in 1956. Hugh Thomson, the editor of this edition, is an explorer, travel writer and documentary filmmaker living in Bristol.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
This book is ideal for anyone who is thinking about going to Peru. It is an amazing read about the uncovering of Machu Picchu for the first time and really gives you a wonderful feeling of awe. You almost feel like you are there. This has to be one of the best books I have read about the Incas/Mayas/Aztecs concerning the Spanish Invasion and the aftermath - normally they are from a Spanish point of view and boring. This book has found not only an interesting way to describe the background history to the search for the lost city, but also makes you feel a part of it. Th unfolding of the city and the way it is described as it was found almost keeps you on the edge of your seat. I think this book has been written so you find it hard to put it down and I can safely say it has worked.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost City of the Incas - a gripping adventure 20 Oct 1997
By A Customer
This book tells the gripping story of the discovery of Machu Piccu. Although Bingham is an academic archaeologist he appears to be belong to the Indiana Jones school. As a travel book it is a gem - Bingham travels through uncharted teritory in the outback of Peru at teh beginning of the century. He risks his life climbing the steep hillsides to Machu Piccu after getting a tip from a local farmer. But the book is also full of detail on the finds he made at the site. It is an insight into the ways of the Inca, and the archaeologist. Although it can be a bit dry in places - the lists of finds at Machu Piccu - Bingham makes up for this with his absorbing adventure story in the earlier chapters. END
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why archeology is cool 5 Feb 2013
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the thought of real life adventurers cutting through the jungle in search of the long lost secrets of past civilizations.

I went to Peru recently so this book brought back fantastic memories (thanks not only to Hiram Bingham's descriptions of the ruins he discovers, but also his depiction of the landscapes he travels through), and anyone who has visited Peru and Machu Picchu will love this book. However this fascinating tale will no doubt also captivate those who have not yet had that chance.

Hugh Thompson's introduction is worth mentioning, as it gives great insight into the context surrounding Bingham's expeditions and his writing of this book.
Although a few passages can get slightly descriptive (Bingham describes in certain detail the objects found during his excavations), this is a great book that'll have you captivated from page 1!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real Indiana Jones 27 July 2011
By bex4ad
Format:Kindle Edition
I just loved this book.

I'm not normally in to non-fiction, but this wasn't hard to read at all. Hiram is mad as an egg and I loved the introduction where the editor pretty much says this; it illuminated some of the more 'colourful' accounts later in the book.

Lots of cross-referencing in case you've put the book down a lot. I admit, I read it over 6 months whilst reading my other books. Didn't matter though, it was very easy to pick up.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is going to Peru (if only in their dreams). What an exciting read - wish I'd been there.

Now own a paper-back copy (so my husband can read it), my copy on my Kindle and a lovely hard-back with lots of photos. Can't recommend it enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars City in the sky 17 April 2011
I read this book when I was in Peru along with WH Prescott's 'Conquest of Peru'. Prescott's book gives a great history of the Inca empire and yet it is amazing to think that at the time of his writing Machu Pichu had yet to be discovered by Bingham. This he did in 1911 and he explains how he came about this fantastic discovery in great detail. He covers the trial and tribulations of finding this great city in a rich and lively fashion and the descriptive detail of Machu Pichu is wonderfully written. The photographs in the book add a historical veneer to the whole context of the book, which in the end tells us how a scholar ultimately discovered one of the greatest historical sites built by man after laying undiscovered for over three hundred years. A really interesting read, sometimes laboured in places but overall an excellent book.
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