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John Hemming's masterly and highly acclaimed account is a must-read book for anyone considering a trip to Peru or wanting to know more about the final days of the Inca empire.
From the first small band of Spanish adventurers to enter the mighty Inca empire to the execution of the last Inca forty years later, it is the story of bloodshed, infamy, rebellion, and extermination, told as convincingly as if it happened yesterday.
It also tells the social impact of the conquest on ordinary Peruvians forced to work for Spanish masters or in hellish silver and mercury mines, on changes to religion and government, and how survivors of the Inca elite reacted to the new order.
"The Conquest of the Incas is an extraordinary book. In it, rigorous historical research and profound analysis combine with stylistic elegance to produce a work that conveys to us, in all its richness and diversity, the tragic and fabulous history of the Inca realm; and it is as delightful to read as the best novels."—Mario Vargas Lllosa, Peruvian, Nobel Laureate in Literature
“Distinguished by an extraordinary empathy, a feeling of one’s way into the minds of the sixteenth-century Spaniards and Indians . . . Provocative.”—New York Times
About the Author
John Hemming was Director of the Royal Geographic Society in London from 1975 to 1996. He has travelled throughout Peru and much of Amazonia on a series of surveying and environmental research expeditions, often in unexplored forests. He has probably visited more indigenous tribes than any other non-Brazilian, including four at the time of their first contact. In addition to The Conquest of the Incas, his sixteen books include Monuments of the Incas, The Search for El Dorado, a three-volume history of Brazil’s indigenous peoples (Red Gold, Amazon Frontier, Die If You Must) and Tree of Rivers. For this work, Peru honored him with the El Sol del Perú award and the grand cross of the Order of Merit; Brazil gave him the Order of the Southern Cross; and Britain, the Order of St Michael and St George. He has a D. Litt doctorate from Oxford, and other honorary doctorates and fellowships. John Hemming is also chairman of a company publishing trade magazines and organizing trade exhibitions, and a trustee of various charities.