The Conquest of the Incas

The Conquest of the Incas

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'A superbly vivid history distinguished by formidable scholarship, uncluttered language, a graphic sense of the craggy terrain in which the tragic combat took place.' - Timesshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 640 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 38mm | 739.99g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • Papermac
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 8pp b&w photographs, line drawings
  • 0333517946
  • 9780333517949

Review Text

There are times during the reading of the bloody battles, civil wars, rebellions and final conquest of the Incas that one despairs of hope for mankind. The treachery and deception, the torture and murder go on today, perhaps more viciously, Hemming reminds us, because at least the Spaniards related to the Incas. Theirs was not a conquest based on racism so much as greed and the thirst for power. So in 500 pages this Canadian-Englishman historian and traveler tells us something of the motives of the Pizarro clan, the Almagros, and Alvarados, and others who fought with and then against Pizarro, and we see the other side too: the vicious civil wars among the Indians and the in-fighting among the Inca nobles for succession. In such an account told with commendable detachment the Indians still emerge as the heroes. Yet the sympathy is tempered by Hemming's reports of Indian atrocities, of numerous Spanish authorities who deplored the behavior of the conquistadores, and of the usually abortive attempts to better the lot of the Indians. The book concentrates its bulk of carefully documented testimony on the forty years from initial invasion to the beheading of the last Inca, Tupac Amaru. The most vivid character to emerge is that of Manco Inca who withstood campaigns and blandishments in his isolated mountain retreat of Vilcabamba until his murder by Spanish renegades he had befriended. Hemming details later colonial history and the lives of Inca descendants and closes with an account of Hiram Bingham's discovery of Macchu Picchu and the more recent attempts to locate Vilcabamba. (Kirkus Reviews)show more