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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 16 reviews
on December 9, 2013
Simply the best compilation of information on the Incas, written by one of the culture's most prolific researchers. It's very neutral, quite conscious of its limitations, yet information-dense and really rich in detail. I travelled in Peru while reading this book and made the trip even better, if such a thing is possible. While not necessary, I would recommend some familiarity with archaeology and anthropology to read this book. Only with some previous knowledge can the reader enjoy it to the fullest.
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on October 25, 2014
A scholarly work, but then I'm scholarly myself, so fine. This books refers to previous scholars' works and draws not always similar conclusions, but such is the way of archaeology and the study of ancient or defunct cultures. Later scholars have the benefit of the previous scholars' works to start out with, then their add new findings and conclusions. Neither of which those who went before had. I like learning about the Incas in great detail which I'd only known in general before.
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on August 30, 2013
D`Altroy has accomplished an amazing feat combining the historical records with the scholarly writings and the archaeological records. His vast knowledge and field experience gives this record of the Inca history a whole new perspective. A must read for all who want to know the "rest of the story".
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on December 15, 2006
I'm preparing to travel to Peru in a month so i bought this book to get myself aquainted with the Incas and the book didnt dissapoint me.The authors do a very good job in presenting the Incas in a very interesting manner using terms that were easy to follow and understand.The part of the book that deals with their cult of the dead was very interesting and informative.Also it is very well explained how the Incas governed themselves and how do they managed to form a very impressive empire despite the fact that it was formed by a lot of different tribes and peoples from the Andean Plateau.This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand and, very important,to enjoy reading about such an amazing culture.
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on August 25, 2004
Professor D'Altroy, a UCLA graduate in 1981, is director of the Columbia Center for Archaeology and professor of anthropology at Columbia University. His specialty is the Inca, and this volume is a cumulative description of current research on that topic.

The Incas is a thorough description of the land and people of the region, including groups and empires that preceded the Inca. Written sources for the information are analyzed for their contemporaneity, reliability, and bias, while archaeological data are used to clarify these accounts where possible. The author discusses not only the rise and fall of the empire but the social order and political and religious ideology as well.

The notes to the chapters are interesting in themselves, as they provide additional information that addresses questions that seem to arise from natural curiosity about the details of events. My favorites had to do with the claimed ages of witnesses to events and those claimed for various emperors. The bibliography is truly amazing and contains entries of almost every copyright date, many annotated, recently printed volumes of early explorers' accounts. A casual perusal of the entries suggests that most of these date to 1558 and later. Some of the secondary entries and most of the primary sources are in Spanish, although there are more than enough in English to answer to the needs of the interested. Periodicals are a significant portion of the bibliography, however, and some of these may be difficult to find unless one has access to a large university library. Most of the modern book entries date to the late 1970's, although some of historical interest or significance date to the earlier years of the 20th Century.

The book is easily accessible to the average reader with an interest in Native Americans, the Incas, anthropology, archaeology, political history, social history, Spain in the New World, and cultures in conflict.
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on December 21, 2012
Terence D'Altroy's volume in the Peoples of America series describing every facet in the history of the Incan empire. Should be read by anyone interested in the subject.
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on April 21, 2015
Very detailed
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on January 14, 2012
My daughter is going on a trip to Peru and this book was recommended to her. She said it was a good read.
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on October 19, 2013
My complaint with this book is that it reads more like a textbook than a simple non-fiction "read for fun" type of book. I'm not sure if there are any better books about the Inca out there, but I couldn't finish this one. I only became interested in the Inca after hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. So I thought it would be good to get some additional information on the culture when I returned. It seemed like a good book at the start but I just lost interest as I read. It doesn't read well. The information was good but I feel like the presentation of the info could have been better...
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on April 30, 2011
Mosre technical than I was lead to believe. Looks likes someone's thesis. But it has the background I need for my scrapbook.
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