In Search of an Inca

In Search of an Inca : Identity and Utopia in the Andes

By (author) Alberto Flores Galindo , Edited and translated by Carlos Aguirre , Edited and translated by Charles F. Walker , Edited and translated by Willie Hiatt

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In Search of an Inca examines how people in the Andean region have invoked the Incas to question and rethink colonialism and injustice, from the time of the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century until the late twentieth century. It stresses the recurrence of the 'Andean Utopia', that is, the idealization of the pre-colonial past as an era of harmony, justice, and prosperity and the foundation for political and social agendas for the future. In this award-winning work, Alberto Flores Galindo highlights how different groups imagined the pre-Andean world as a model for a new society. These included those conquered by the Spanish in the sixteenth century but also rebels in the colonial and modern era and a heterogeneous group of intellectuals and dissenters. This sweeping and accessible history of the Andes over the last five hundred years offers important reflections on and grounds for comparison of memory, utopianism, and resistance.

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  • Paperback | 306 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 20.32mm | 521.63g
  • 30 Jun 2010
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • 1 b/w illus. 11 maps 7 tables
  • 0521598613
  • 9780521598613
  • 1,679,393

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Author Information

Alberto Flores Galindo was an acclaimed historian and social critic who died in 1989 at age 40. In Search of an Inca won the prestigious Cuban Casa de las Americas Prize in 1986 and the Clarence Haring Prize from the American Historical Association in 1991. It is now in its fifth edition in Peru and has been published in Cuba, Mexico, and Italy. Flores Galindo was the author or editor of numerous other books, director of various scholarly journals, and recipient of many fellowships and honors. He received his doctoral degree from L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris) and taught at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima. Carlos Aguirre is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oregon. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Minnesota in 1996. In 1999 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He is the author or co-editor of nine books, most recently Denle duro que no siente: Poder y transgresion en el Peru republicano (2008). Charles Walker is a Professor of History and Director of the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas at the University of California, Davis. His books include Shaky Colonialism: The 1746 Earthquake-Tsunami in Lima, Peru and Its Long Aftermath (2008) and Smoldering Ashes: Cuzco and the Creation of Republican Peru, 1780-1840 (1999). Willie Hiatt is a Visiting Professor of History at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed his Ph.D. in history in 2009 at the University of California, Davis. His dissertation is entitled 'The Rarefied Air of the Modern: Aviation and Peruvian Participation in World History, 1910-1950'.

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Review quote

'Flores Galindo, in his now-classic In Search of an Inca, traces the utopian myth that has persisted in many forms in the Andean region down to the present, inspiring uprisings, prophecies, sects, and local rituals ... [The book] follows the underground path of myth and memory and the ethnic tensions that have preoccupied Peru's greatest thinkers. It is an absorbing story that needed to be told.' Jean Franco, Columbia University 'Alberto Flores Galindo was Peru's most creative historian in the post-1960s era. This book brilliantly interprets the yearnings for an Inca past that inspired struggles to reinvent Peru's present and future.' Steve J. Stern, Alberto Flores Galindo Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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