Lost City of the Incas

Lost City of the Incas

3.47 (534 ratings by Goodreads)
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First published in the 1950s, this is a classic account of the discovery in 1911 of the lost city of Machu Picchu. In 1911 Hiram Bingham, a pre-historian with a love of exotic destinations, set out to Peru in search of the legendary city of Vilcabamba, capital city of the last Inca ruler, Manco Inca. With a combination of doggedness and good fortune he stumbled on the perfectly preserved ruins of Machu Picchu perched on a cloud-capped ledge 2000 feet above the torrent of the Urubamba River. The buildings were of white granite, exquisitely carved blocks each higher than a man. Bingham had not, as it turned out, found Vilcabamba, but he had nevertheless made an astonishing and memorable discovery, which he describes in his bestselling book LOST CITY OF THE INCAS.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 124 x 196 x 28mm | 320g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Weidenfeld & Nicolson History
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 25, 3 maps
  • 1842125850
  • 9781842125854
  • 16,728

Review quote

Bingham catalogues his finds with admirable concision, and indulges his wide interests, revealing little-known facts about the Incas... He captures the majesty of the architecture in its dramatic and wild surroundings LITERARY REVIEW"show more

About Hiram Bingham

Hiram Bingham was born in Hawaii in 1875 and educated at Yale. His early expeditions to South America and his discovery of Machu Picchu were just the start of a long and colourful career: he went on to command air force troops in France during the First World War and to become a Senator. He died in 1956. Hugh Thomson, the editor of this edition, is an explorer, travel writer and documentary filmmaker living in Bristol. Hugh Thomson, the editor of this edition, is a travel writer and documentary film maker living in Bristol. His first book, The White Rock, is published by W&N in July 2001.show more

Review Text

Hiram Bingham was a young American who set out to explore the wild country of the Eastern Peruvian Andes and, in 1911, discovered the fabulous Inca city of Machu Picchu. The text of Lost City of the Incas was written by Bingham itself - and as well as being a brilliant explorer Bingham had an excellent way with words. The text is illustrated by Bingham's own superb black-and-white photographs (plenty of views of the striking explorer posing on top of equally striking ruins) and gorgeous colour photographs of one of the world's most ruggedly beautiful areas. Hugh Thomson's introduction puts Bingham's achievement into perspective, and is a good read in itself. This is a lovely book. It has all the flavour of a rather simpler, pre-First World War world and can be very politically incorrect (we do not have 'savages' any more) but is also gloriously human, down to the loving and admiring descriptions of Hiram's multi-purpose jacket. It is a very human story. Natives who had spent a lifetime within five or six feet of a major ruin had never seen it because of the thickness of the jungle cover. Yet above all this is a fascinating and enthused account of one of the world's greatest archaeological discoveries. Dr Martin Stephen is the High Master of Manchester Grammar School and the author of The Desperate Remedy. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

534 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 14% (77)
4 33% (175)
3 40% (213)
2 12% (63)
1 1% (6)
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