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Fortifications of the Incas (Fortress) Paperback – Bargain Price, July 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Fortress
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (July 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841769398
  • ASIN: B005MZ7IIA
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,964,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

H.W. Kaufmann has an MA in Spanish from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she also studied archaeology. She has a PhD from the University of Texas, Austin, in medieval Spanish and is fluent in six languages. She is a professor at San Antonio College and teaches languages. J.E.Kaufmann has an MA in History from the University of Texas, San Antonio. He is a retired public school teacher and teaches history part time at Palo Alto Junior College.

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Customer Reviews

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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Germania on February 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I must admit, after reading Mr. Essery's review, I was hesitant to buy Fortifications of the Incas, but I am pleased that I finally did buy it. It obviously is a book meant for the general public rather than experts in the field. Considering the text, including illustrations, is only 60 pages, I find that it has a great deal of information. I also do not find the idea that the Incas might have provided defenses for their major cities all that far-fetched. Mr. Essery seems to believe some outmoded ideas that replaced what he referred to as older outdated theories. These were not peaceful noble savages any more than the sophisticated Europeans were a peaceful lot either. After all, most of the cities, even if religious or ceremonial centers, in the Old World had defenses at one time or another in their history and maintained them for many centuries including the Pope's medieval Rome and Avignon and other many other sites. Why wouldn't the Incas defend their most important sites, even those that were largely ceremonial? Discussing this with a couple of friends who teach history at a local university, I was told that most cities were often designed as multipurpose. I also loaned one professor the book and he thought it was a fine introduction to the subject. In response to some of Mr. Essery's comments, which I printed out for the professor, he said that he is more of a traditionalist and apparently not aware of the latest research. I was also informed that the Incas used the agricultural terraces as a "prepared battlefield" when a site was under attack as shown by their drawings in the book. The fact that the text deals with the main Inca sites instead of some obscure sites off the beaten path is a plus since these Osprey books usually note places that can be visited by reasonable means.Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. B. Fonda on July 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Inca Fortifications is more than just a book on fortifications. The authors provide enough background information to demonstrate the relationship between the fortified sites of the Inca to their cultural and historic background. They concentrate on the majory historic sites which for the most part can be visited without great difficulty. Although the book is only 60 pages, it is packed with information including illustrations that help present the reader with richer description.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dave Essery on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a great disappointment. Firstly it is very poorly researched. The Incas built a number of fortified sites throughout their empire that survive to this day - important examples include numerous fortresses in Ecuador, Incallata in Bolivia and small fortresses along side the Urubamba River in the 'Sacred Valley'. In writing a book of this nature it should be mandatory that the authors be familiar with these sites - yet it is obvious that they aren't to any great extent.

Instead the authors seem to base most of their information around the main Incan tourist destinations of Peru - Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Sachsayhuaman, Machu Picchu. It seems pretty obvious they have holidayed in Peru and just stuck to the usual 'gringo trail' and have tried to write a book about Inca fortifications based largely around their holiday snaps of these sites. Agricultural terraces become 'defensive terraces' in absurd locations, like at the top of Huayna Picchu. Machu Picchu is described as a 'fortress' and 'the last refuge of the Virgins of the Sun' - I thought that old theory had been put to rest years ago! Tambo-machay, the small fountain complex near Cuzco is suggested as having a primarily military function because of its 'defensive terraces'! They seem to see fortresses where there are none and haven't bothered to visit the actual sites where true Incan fortresses are to be found.

Much of the short book is taken up with general information on the Inca - stuff thats been told many times before (and in better prose) and is unecessary in a book that is supposed to be specialising in fortifications. There are no illustrations of actual Incan weapons or armour. The reconstructions are useful but again not especially well researched.
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