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The Incas (Peoples of America) Hardcover – 21 Mar 2002
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"Transforms the field of Inca studies." Gary Urton, Harvard University <!––end––>
"There have been many syntheses of the Inca culture of the Central Andes of South America, but this one, by the leader in Inca studies, surpasses them all." Choice
"[D′Altroy] is recognised as an outstanding and well–published scholar on the provinces of the Inca Empire. I highly recommend this excellent synthesis of Inca studies ... for its comparative empire insights ... its smooth and lively narrative style and for the critical discussion of the abundant historical and archaeological sources on the Inca empire." Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
From the Back Cover
The great empire of the Incas at its height encompassed an area of western South America comparable in size to the Roman Empire in Europe. This book describes and explains its extraordinary progress from a small Andean society in southern Peru to its rapid demise little more than a century later at the hands of the Spanish conquerors.
The Incas is the first book fully to synthesize history and archaeology in a sweeping exploration of the entire empire from Chile to Ecuador. The author explains how the Incas drew from millennia of cultural developments to mould a diverse land into a dynamic, powerful, and yet fragile polity. From this integrated perspective, The Incas profoundly rethinks the nature of imperial formation, ideology, and social, economic, and political relations in Inca society.
Illustrated with numerous maps and photographys, this scholarly yet accessible book should become the new standard account of the most impressive of the pre–Columbian civilizations of the Americas.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
There is a wealth of black-and-white photographs and near-contemporary illustrations, and D'Altroy makes extensive, judicious use of both archaeological finds and written sources (native and Spanish) from the decades immediately after the Conquest. The slant is primarily historical, and while - as with any study of Andean history - anthropological theory enters the picture, this is rather less jargon-filled and abstract than the average ethnographic study, but instead shows awareness of historical change and social evolution.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Incas is a thorough description of the land and people of the region, including groups and empires that preceded the Inca. Written sources for the information are analyzed for their contemporaneity, reliability, and bias, while archaeological data are used to clarify these accounts where possible. The author discusses not only the rise and fall of the empire but the social order and political and religious ideology as well.
The notes to the chapters are interesting in themselves, as they provide additional information that addresses questions that seem to arise from natural curiosity about the details of events. My favorites had to do with the claimed ages of witnesses to events and those claimed for various emperors. The bibliography is truly amazing and contains entries of almost every copyright date, many annotated, recently printed volumes of early explorers' accounts. A casual perusal of the entries suggests that most of these date to 1558 and later. Some of the secondary entries and most of the primary sources are in Spanish, although there are more than enough in English to answer to the needs of the interested. Periodicals are a significant portion of the bibliography, however, and some of these may be difficult to find unless one has access to a large university library. Most of the modern book entries date to the late 1970's, although some of historical interest or significance date to the earlier years of the 20th Century.
The book is easily accessible to the average reader with an interest in Native Americans, the Incas, anthropology, archaeology, political history, social history, Spain in the New World, and cultures in conflict.
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