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The Last Days of the Incas


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About the Author

Kim MacQuarrie is a four-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and award-winning author who has lived and worked all over the world. Educated in the US and France, he lived for five years in Peru and spent some of that time living with a recently contacted tribe in the Amazon jungle, only 100 miles from Machu Picchu. He is the author of Life and Death in the Andes and The Last Days of the Incas, as well as three illustrated books about Peru. He currently divides his time between the US, Peru, and Thailand. Visit him at KimMacQuarrie.com.


With vivid and energetic prose, Emmy Award-winner and author MacQuarrie (From the Andes to the Amazon) re-creates the 16th-century struggle for what would become modern-day Peru. The Incas ruled a 2,500-mile-long empire, but Spanish explorers, keen to enrich the crown and spread the Catholic Church, eventually destroyed Inca society. MacQuarrie, who writes with just the right amount of drama ("After the interpreter finished delivering the speech, silence once again gripped the square"), is to be commended for giving a balanced account of those events. This long and stylish book doesn't end with the final 1572 collapse of the Incas. Fast-forwarding to the 20th century, MacQuarrie tells the surprisingly fascinating story of scholars' evolving interpretations of Inca remains. In 1911, a young Yale professor of Latin American history named Hiram Bingham identified Machu Picchu as the nerve center of the empire. Few questioned Bingham's theory until after his death in 1956; in the 1960s Gene Savoy discovered the real Inca center of civilization, Vilcabamba. Although MacQuarrie dedicates just a few chapters to modern research, the archeologists who made the key discoveries emerge as well-developed characters, and the tale of digging up the empire is as riveting as the more familiar history of Spanish conquest. B&w illus., maps. (May 29) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

An Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and contributing author to photographic books, MacQuarrie (From the Andes to the Amazon) now offers a thorough exploration of Incan history, from first contact with Europeans in 1526 to the rediscovery of buried Incan historical artifacts to 2005. The story of the downfall and rediscovery of the Incan Empire is revealed by following the footsteps of influential individuals in the history of interactions between the Incan civilization and Europeans. For example, MacQuarrie begins with an account of explorers rediscovering the abandoned Incan city of Machu Picchu in 1911. Repeatedly, he uses correspondence between Europeans exploring the Incan civilization and their contacts in Europe to demonstrate perceptions held of Incan people during the time period. Throughout, numerous illustrations and maps enhance MacQuarrie's insights. This highly detailed, extremely readable work is appropriate for academic and larger public libraries.-Kristin Whitehair, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"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 Traveler
"In this thrilling informative work...MacQuarrie also manages to spin the oft-told story of the discovery of Machu Picchu into narrative gold."--Entertainment Weekly
"This is a wonderful book about one of the most epic struggles of history, a conquest that transformed a continent."---- Wade Davis, Anthropologist and Explorer-in-Residence National Geographic Society, and author of One River
"A colorful, superbly crafted historical narrative that masterfully demonstrates that when cultures collide, unforeseen and tragic consequences follow....also a memorable adventure story, revealing the modern Indiana Jones-type characters that unearthed, and continue to discover, lost parts of the Inca Empire. Last Days of the Incas is historical writing at its best."--Broughton Coburn, author of Everest: Mountain Without Mercy
"The story of the European conquest of the fascinating and fabulously rich empire of the Incas is one of history's most engaging and tragic episodes...Thanks to The Last Days of the Incas, Kim MacQuarrie's superbly written new treatment of the subject, it is now accessible to the much broader audience it deserves."--Vincent Lee, author of Forgotten Vilcabamba
"Thoroughly and entertainingly recounted...MacQuarrie excels."--Jonathan Keats "Forbes "

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