[[ Prime ]] The Last Days of the IncasAuthor Kim MacQuarrie – Freepe.co

This is a fascinating, epic 22 hours on audio history of the invasion of the Spanish conquistadors into the Andes in the early 16th century It s chilling to learn details of the conquest of the Incan empire The Spaniards, led by the 5 Pizarro brothers, initially came in minuscule numbers, and were often outnumbered in their battles by factors of 10,000 to 1 or But they slaughtered the natives with impunity, rarely suffering casualties They had horses, armor, and steel innovations that made them almost impervious to the primitive weapons of the Incans.The ostensive motivation of the conquerors was to convert the pagans to Christianity But as the author describes slaughter, dismemberment, executions, rape, torture, and other atrocities, there s not much Christianity apparent The incredible greed for gold and silver is much obvious the plundering and melting down of almost every one of the precious cultural artifacts of a proud and ancient people is shameful , along with the lust for power and possessions The utter arrogance of a supposedly civilized nation presuming to overrun and destroy the pagans in the name of Christ dumbfounds me And it s even pronounced because they didn t just destroy the people, they destroyed the entire culture.I was enthralled by this book If I had read it during my college days, I might have ended up as an archaeology or sociology major after all Now, it just leaves me with an incredible desire to go explore the Andes Warning the last few hours of the book are given to ruminations of the 20th century archaeological analysis of the ruins of the civilizations, and may not be as interesting to some. This is a very well researched, very well written history book about a period and culture I knew very little about the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in South America Though I would not go so far as to say it read like a novel, certain parts did, especially when the author was creating a hook to introduce the next series of events I understand he s an Emmy award winning documentarian, so he knows how to tell a story If the author ever decides to adapt this book into film, the protagonist will be Manco Inca He was just a teenager when Francisco Pizarro and his crew arrived in what is now Peru, and after treacherous dealings that ended in the execution of Manco s older brother, the ruling emperor, the Spaniards appointed Manco successor, thinking he would make a good puppet But their treachery continued and when Pizarro s youngest brother made a demand that went way too far, Manco Inca turned into a real ruler of his people, leading an all out rebellion The Incas war against the Spaniards and the in fighting on both sides makes up the bulk of this book, but it s sandwiched in between the first and last chapters about the 20th century explorers and historians who discovered the Incan ruins Their story is not as brutal or violent, but there s plenty of underhandedness in it After all, what was at stake for them was pretty much the same thing as what the conquistadors were after glory and fortune This is not a book that will renew your faith in humanity The conquistadors were absolutely hateful, but the Incas weren t noble savages either They were imperialists, too, having conquered much of the South American continent before the Spanish arrived And though the Incan emperors did not let their peasants starve, it was still a feudalistic society where the peasants had to pay tribute and provide free labor Ironically, Pizarro himself had been a peasant in Spain He left Europe to seek his fortune because he had nothing to lose.One of the early chapters of the book quotes Thucydides as saying, Conquer or be conquered What I got out of this book is the converse all conquerors end up conquered themselves Nobody stays on top forever, and if you become too arrogant while on top, you end up inviting the rebellion that will ultimately lead to your downfall. The Last Days of the Incas is a terrifically readable history of the Spanish conquest of the Incas and Peru Whereas John Hemming s Conquest of the Incas is the definitive modern history, MacQuarrie brings to bear a narrative and engaging approach.Last Days is historically thorough, but MacQuarrie writes many of the incidents of the conquest in a fictional style Often scenes are are qualified with comments like Undoubtedly, Pizarro felt such and such, or No doubt Manco looked out over the valley, etc Once one accepts the speculative commentary for what it is, it shouldn t be bothersome, and is than made up for by the narrative flow.The story of the conquest is well known Pizarro co swoop into Peru with only a handful of fully armed conquistadors looking for fame and fortune This small band aided unknowingly by a smallpox plague ravaging North, Central and South America kidnap and kill their way to riches and domination The Incas are able to consolidate their many tribes, but the rebellions all flame out Ultimately, the Spanish prevail despite their own internecine battles that ends in the death of Francisco Pizarro by Spanish hands.John Hemming is for the hardest core academic reading of the Incan conquest MacQuarrie is faster and fiction like read Both are highly recommended. I read a fair amount of history but the ancient peoples of Central and South America are some of my blindspots This may not have been the best place to start since the book, obviously, deals with the end of the Incas but I did learn quite a few facts that have piqued my interest in what led up to their demise as an empire.Seems the Incas were actually conquerors themselves and made up a very small minority of the actual population They had defeated all the surrounding tribes and were considered the elite of the empire There was a battle for succession raging in the Incan empire just as the Spaniards arrived talk about bad timing.The Spaniards were led by Fransisco Pizzaro who hailed from an impoverished, rural, backward area of Western Spain called Extremadura Interesting fact about the area, many of the great conquistadors came from this area, Balboa, Ponce de Leon, De Soto and Cortes all came from this same general location Signing on to, or organizing an expedition was one of the few ways to rise above your station and break free from the poverty.One of the most shocking aspects was the fact that the Spaniards were able to bring down the empire with such a small number of men, 168 at the very beginning They had technological advantages, cannon, harquebus a smoothbore gun , armor and horses which the Inca had never seen before but one would have assumed the sheer numbers of Inca, several million no true record of actual numbers would have been able to overcome the badly outnumbered invaders I guess between the awe inspiring technology and the just concluded civil war the Inca were put in an situation they just could not overcome.At times fascinating and sickening this was a very readable history, although in hindsight probably not the best place to start. After reading a library copy, bought copies both for myself and gifts to others. Awesome read I grew up hearing all kinds of things about Cortes conquering the Mexica or Aztecs The stories of Tenochtitlan and the fighting on its causeways were amazing But I really knew very little about Pizzaro and the Inca If the Mexica were basically a loose conglomeration of city states, the Inca were a world class empire stretching for over a thousand miles down the Andes and even over the mountains into the rainforest As pure story, the Spanish saga with the Inca makes that of the Mexica pale in comparison So Cortes kidnapped Montezuma and held him hostage and other than maybe one butt kicking, basically had his way with the Mexica Pizzaro led off with Cortes kidnapping method, but the similarities end there The Inca went all out guerilla on the Spanish as led by a succession of brave and determined emperors The Inca finally refined a very successful method of ambushing Spanish ard convoys caught in deep defiles by way of large, gravity operated boulders A seemingly infinite succession of Pizzaro brothers and Inca emperors going toe to toe made for a thrilling read And then the story got even interesting when civil war erupted as Spanish factions fought for control of what was left Simply insane Greed and lust for power aplenty I also really liked how the author spent a good bit of time dealing with the rediscovery of many of the ancient Inca sites through the stories of Hiram Bingham, Victor von Hagen, Gene Savoy, and Vincent Lee Equally insane in its own right. This is a very readable account of the conquest of the Incas by Francisco Pizarro and 167 of his conquistador buddies That number shocked me The Inca emperor Atahualpa had thousands of warriors at his command, and Pizarro and his steel ard, horse mounted men rode all over them That s just so incredibly wrong I have trouble grasping it.MacQuarrie does a great job of interweaving contemporary accounts with modern scholarship and brings the various individuals involved to life What struck me most was how there really were no good guys in this fight To the modern mind, Pizarro had no business imposing European rule on another empire, and that makes the Incas seem sympathetic particularly keeping that first number in mind But the Incas were just coming out of a nasty civil war, and they were no kinder to each other or to the Spaniards they captured than the Spanish were to them This is probably not the nicest wish, but I d love to see an alternate history in which the Incas had military technology to take on the Spanish Though Atahualpa came to power because his predecessor apparently died of smallpox brought by the Europeans, Peru remained remarkably free of that disease, and had they been properly armed or had the Europeans not had horses that conflict would have gone very differently.My one complaint about the book is that MacQuarrie, in his quest to make the story come alive, frequently makes informed guesses about things no one could know, using phrases like certainly the Pizarro brothers would have embraced after being separated for years I got really tired of the words no doubt, his favorite way to spice things up.Overall, it was both an enjoyable read and exactly what I needed for my new Extraordinaries book, so I call it a win. As a Peruvian I feel really sorry for what happened at that time It looks that I am a kind of witness when reading this bookThank you Mr MacQuarrie I can picture each scene Also, the books makes me reflect of how the Inca empire was affected deeply by this gang, I believe it was because the empire was divided in many ways for power Spaniards were lucky finding a place like this Racism, killing, stealing, lying were their heritage left, among others Three centuries later, it is interesting to see how the ambition of fame came with the explorer Gene Savoy who betrayed Vincent Lee s recent discovering of Vilcabamba ruins, an architect who shared with him all what he found in the lost Inca City Again, power, ambition, bitterness now related to the history of the Inca Empire It would be great if the book is translated in Spanish so, many of my countrymen would be able to learn about our culture, our ancestors. Kim MacQuarrie Lived In Peru For Five Years And Became Fascinated By The Incas And The History Of The Spanish Conquest Drawing On Both Native And Spanish Chronicles, He Vividly Describes The Dramatic Story Of The Conquest, With All Its Savagery And Suspense This Authoritative, Exciting History Is Among The Most Powerful And Important Accounts Of The Culture Of The South American Indians And The Spanish Conquest