Fantastic material rendered dreary by somnolent narration, repetition of material, and unsupported fictional interpretations about what "no doubt" happened. "No doubt" becomes a code phrase for "wild guess".
Just how was it so easy for the Spanish to so overwhelmingly dominate the battlefield? Sure, they had horses and armor, but scores or a few hundred Spaniards against literally thousands of their Incan opponents and they weren't overwhelmed like spiders by army ants? I don't think we will ever know the real answers, but the important military aspects are glossed over, and there are not even any particularly good guesses as to why the "brilliant" Peruvian generals were such twits.
The amazing villainies of the Conquistadors are described baldly and boringly indeed. You have to rely on your own imagination to flesh out this tale and bring it to life, for you will find little enough juice in the narrative.
Historians have little to go on, but the guesses presented here are unconvincing and uninteresting.
Tell us about yourself!
not a real page turner but well written and easy to follow and understand how this very interesting part of history unfolded. It helps to have visited the sites in Peru. I wish I had had it in hand at the time of the visit.
I enjoy listening to history books but do so as a layman rather than as an academic. Within that context I would say that this was a successful book. It held my interest to the end while informing me of the basic history of the Inca Empire & the early conquest of what is now Peru. I could not help but side with the natives against the arrogant, selfish, lying, immoral, greedy hypocrites from Spain. The last Inca's death bed confession focused my attention on one glaring weakness in the book. What was the real nature of the religious & daily life of the Incas? They are portrayed in an idyllic way which is common to descriptions of American natives prior to the arrival of Europeans. I personally am very skeptical that the "Christians" were all bad & the aboriginals were basically good. One truth seems to show through in the Incas, the Spaniards & the latter day explorers was selfish self interest.
The author has an amazing command over language. MacQuarrie's flowing narrative spurs the brave conquistadors whose high hopes, blood lust and gold fever teases the adventure in all of us.
This was a great listen, extremely well written and researched and what I call an easy listen. Very credit worthy.
This book brought home the importance of steel, in the guns, germs, and steel theory of the spanish conquest. The strategies of both sides are made clear in this well written history. It starts with the discovery of Machu Pichu, covers the history of the conquest, and then ends with a brief history of recent archeology into the locations of several places mentioned in the book. It is all well worth listening to.
Kim MacQuarrie begins his narrative acknowledging many of the challenges associated with writing a book about the Incas. The Incas had no written language (other than the quipus they used mostly as an accounting tool). The conquering Spaniards on the other hand had very little interest in science, archeology, or history or in understanding or preserving the traditions of a conquered people. What historical sources exist today are essentially collections of letters and greatly exaggerated accounts of their "heroics" among the "savages" of the new world. Yet, in spite of these odds, Kim manages to put together a work that is not only historical, but also a narrative that keeps the reader engaged - wanting to know what happens next. Yes, it is true that Kim uses the word "undoubtedly" more than a few times whenever he wants to color, or insert his own opinion of the facts (how would anyone know whether Manco Inca was affraid, surprised or enraged about the approach of the Spaniards?, for example), but I didn't find his additions specially problematic.
Instead,I found his work fascinating and it helped me better understand the history of the "conquest" of Peru, as well as the roots of many of the social phenomena that we observe today in Latin America.
An excellent read! Well done.