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The Last Days Of The Incas [Paperback]

Kim MacQuarrie
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
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Book Description

2 Oct 2008
In 1572 the Spanish sacked Vilcabamba, the last Inca stronghold, and the city was rapidly overtaken by the jungle, receding for hundreds of years into legend and myth. This is the story of how Vilcabamba was founded and how the Incas held out against the Spanish for over 30 years in a savage guerrilla war. Hundreds of years later, at the turn of this century an American explorer, Hiram Bingham, stumbled on the ruins of Machu Pichu and announced to the world that he had found Vilcabamba, the lost city of the Incas. For fifty years the academic world agreed with him until in 1967 another American explorer discovered the real Vilcabamba...This is the biography of a city - through history, myth, legend, literature, exploration and archaeology.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 522 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; Mass Market Paperback edition (2 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749929936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749929930
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Kim MacQuarrie is a writer, a four-time Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, and an anthropologist. He is the author of four books on Peru and lived in that country for five years. During that time, MacQuarrie lived with a recently-contacted tribe of indigenous Amazonians, called the Yora. It was MacQuarrie's experience filming a nearby group of indigenous people, whose ancestors still remembered their contacts with the Inca Empire, that ultimately led him to investigate and then to write his latest book, "The Last Days of the Incas."

A History Book Club and Military Book Club selection, the book was also chosen by the Kiriyama Prize Committee as a "notable book" for 2008 and as an "Outstanding Academic Title" by Choice. Currently FX Channel is developing "The Last Days of the Incas" as a 13-part scripted television series. MacQuarrie is now at work on a book about a 4,500-mile journey, from Colombia to Tierra del Fuego, along the spine of the Andes.Visit his website at: www.kimmacquarrie.com or his blog at www.lastdaysoftheincas.com/wordpress

Product Description

Review

A welcome addition to the literature . . . Lively and dramtic (WASHINGTON POST)

Fascinating and enthralling . . . Truly a work worth Inca gold (HISTORY MAGAZINE)

The Last Days of the Incas surprises, delivers history, and reads like a great yarn. I've read yards of books on the Incas but this one took me out of the classroom and into that long-lost world. (Keith Bellows, Editor in Chief, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER)

Kim QacQuarrie's detailed, gripping account of the destruction wreaked by Spanish conquistadors following their arrical in the Incan empire in 1532 is a stand-out read. It's compelling, brutal and hugely revealing about the plight of the Incan people. (History Revealed)

Book Description

The haunting story of the destruction of a magnificent civilisation

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
THE GAUNT, THIRTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD AMERICAN EXPLORER, Hiram Bingham, clambered up the steep slope of the cloud forest, on the eastern flank of the Andes, then paused beside his peasant guide before taking off his wide-brimmed fedora and wiping the sweat from his brow. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollercoaster Read 18 July 2007
Format:Hardcover
Before I read this book, my knowledge of the Inca Empire was limited to a vague notion that they once had a great civilization that was quickly destroyed by a small bunch of Spaniards. I had no idea of the blood curdling drama that awaited me. Kim MacQuarrie's book is a riveting, thrill a minute tale written with such a skillful combination of elegant restraint and high stakes immediacy that I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter and on some occasions, (like when Manco Inca first mobilized the Incas into rebellion to name but one example), I had to remind myself to exhale. Right up to the end, I was willing the Incas to prevail, all the while knowing that their days were numbered. The fact that all the issues it so painstakingly and beautifully brings to the surface are scarily relevant to today's world does the book no disservice either. Read it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Days of the Incas 21 Oct 2010
By Sarah
Format:Paperback
An incredibly well written piece of literature. Easy to read, historically informative and an amazing insight into the lives of the Spanish Conquistadors and the Incas, I felt I was there! (Reading this book had the same effect on me as watching 'Braveheart' - you always wana support the underdogs) Unbelievably powerful,stirring and evocative. The story contained inside this books cover has been researched mind bogglingly well, I can only imagine the painstaking hours involved in the creation of perfection that is this book. Buy it now! It's exciting, inspirational and awesome!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing the Incas to life 22 Jun 2012
By Fran
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are a LOT of Inca ruins in Peru and I heard more than one person comment "They're all more or less the same" but when you read this book each building really comes to life. Imagining the Incas defending Sacsaywaman against the Spanish, or the walls of Qoricancha lined with gold makes the whole place so much more interesting and exciting! I definitely recommend this book to anyone even vaguely interested in the Incas and definitely anyone planning to visit the sacred valley in Peru. But finish it before you go, I only got 2/3 of the way through and hence missed out on visiting several of the ruined cities that I'm now desperate to go back for!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didnt want to put it down! 14 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
I studied History for my degree so I have a natural interest in the subject. I generally prefer my books to be informative and most importantly, accurate. I had no knowledge of Incan history, so what I was after was a basic overview of how the Spanish ended up in South America and how they were involved in the Inca's destruction. You have to remember that the sources used for any book would be translated several times and are somewhat biased in favour of the conquistadors own purposes therefore, regardless of whatever book you buy you wont get an entirely accurate account of the events. I found this book to be really exciting, I really found it hard to put it down. The author makes the events really easy to follow and presents them in an exciting fashion, its certainly not a dull read. Those who are more educated in the area may find inaccuracies and question if events unfolded in such a way. However, if you are looking for just a general overview that is easy to follow, with a bit of excitement then this is the book for you
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 31 May 2011
By Frenchy
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most informative ancient history books I've ever read. It reads like a novel and is so discriptive that it feels as though you are there, witnessing the atrocities and wishing something could have been done to change the overall outcome. I couldn't put it down and actually felt quite sad when I came to the end.
An excellent read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid rendering of Inca fortunes and misfortunes 25 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
MacQuarrie conjurs up a vivid history of the Inca Empire and its conquest by the Spaniards. Rather like Bible stories, he has used his imagination to paint a vibrant picture of the events of the time; unlike the Bible stories he has more factual evidence upon which to base them. For those who have visited Lima, Cuzco and the surrounding areas it is easy to envisage the unfolding tale; indeed, many of the sites are now visible and visitable.
The book could have done with a few more maps and illustrations, but if read in conjunction with "The Illustrated History of the Incas" by David M Jones, then all will fall into place.
The book is very readable and is up-to-date with the latest archeological evidence and interpretations. Highly recommended; read it before you go there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic and thrilling 26 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
It has always surprised me that no-one with a Hollywood-sized budget and a thirst for action has ever committed to telling the story of the Conquest of the Incas. I sincerely hope that with the release of this book (that will surely supersede all others on the topic for the foreseeable future) the penny will drop.

Kim MacQuarrie's book is a breathless iteration of this epic tale, surpassing even John Hemming's landmark 1970's rendition by drawing on some alternative sources and taking a slightly more imaginative angle (although there are notable - and necessary - similarities in the first half). The depth and professionalism of the research is unquestioned, the fluidity of the language enviable.

It has become a little cheap, lazy and hackneyed to refer to any episode in history as `The Greatest Story Ever Told', yet all - all - of the ingredients are undoubtedly here: seemingly insurmountable odds; immense clashes of culture and technology; treachery; shifting allegiances; unrequited love and its occasional terrible repercussions; soaring mountains and steamy jungles; and not least the giddy excitement of lost cities being rediscovered. It takes a great deal of skill to render this into a tight, uncompromising narrative whilst simultaneously displaying passion and fairness in your subject. MacQuarrie succeeds superbly.

The exotic location and almost alien outlook on life being displayed by Incas and Conquistadors alike suggest something quite other-earthly about this breathtaking saga, and you do have to keep reminding yourself that its true - no, there is no ethereal MiddleEarth magic on display here, although the story is no less grand as a result.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars sad and exciting
This is one of the best books i have ever read. one of the greatest stories in history. had the Incas won world history would have been very different. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Schwartz
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into a lost Empire
This book is a wonderful tale of the fall of the Inca Empire and the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Leebsw
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit heavy going, so I was pleased to give it to someone
With a bit more research I could have got into it, so it made a great gift to someone who knew their stuff
Published 6 months ago by miles kenny
5.0 out of 5 stars Incas a great civilization
Excellent book, well written and very well researched. I was interested in reading more about this fantastic civilization and what really happened when the spanish conquistadores... Read more
Published 9 months ago by C. E. Lopez Ferreira
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting read
I do not really like reading about early history, but this book was a fantastic read, very interesting and I managed to read it all which I doubted I would when it arrived in the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody History of Peru
A definitive history of the Spanish invasion and destruction of the Incas.

Clearly written, it is an essential read before you visit Peru to put the country, its... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Austen
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read!
For anyone with an interest, like me, in things Inca this is a compelling read. Neatly describing the history of the Spanish conquest and the Inca resistance, the author goes on to... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Steve Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
We are going to Perú in July and this is becoming the perfect warm up for our trip. Sound historically and very engaging.
Published 16 months ago by Doc
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Day of the Incas? Morre like the entire history of the Incas
Awesome read on the entire histiry of the Inca Empire. The very defintion of a page turner. Read in 2 nights :)
Published 16 months ago by Harry Matadeen
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise but contains quite a bit of repitiion
I really enjoyed reading this book, being my first inca history book. The author is really concise in her writing and appears to know a lot. Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2012 by Mel
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