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The Modern Scholar: The Incas: Inside an American Empire | [Terence N. D'Altroy]

The Modern Scholar: The Incas: Inside an American Empire

The story of the Incas is a powerful one, and their legacy remains a potent influence in the Andes of South America. In this insightful lecture series, Columbia University professor Terence D'Altroy focuses on Inca life at the height of the empire, the society's origins, its military, religion, ruling structure, and finally, the Inca legacy today.
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Publisher's Summary

In the land of Tawantinsuyu (The Four Parts Together) the Incas reigned in the late 15th century over the greatest empire ever seen in the independent Americas. Their territory included parts of the present-day countries of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Yet we know little of these people, especially from firsthand written accounts.

This course introduces the Incas, a small ethnic group from the southern Peruvian highlands, who forged a civilization rich in material and culture and expanded their domain to control large expanses of territory in a short period of time through diplomacy, enculturation, and military force.

A Powerful Story and a Potent Legacy

The story of the Incas is a powerful one, and their legacy remains a potent influence in the Andes of South America. In this insightful lecture series, Columbia University professor Terence D'Altroy focuses on Inca life at the height of the empire, the society's origins, its military, religion, ruling structure, and finally, the Inca legacy today.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2004 Terence N. D'Altroy; (P)2004 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Ullanta Claremont, CA, United States 09-19-11
    Ullanta Claremont, CA, United States 09-19-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting, comprehensive intro to the Incas"

    This is pretty well-written, well-researched, and comprehensive; as written a great introduction to the Incas with just enough scholarly discussion of reliability and ambiguity of the numerous source materials. Both "traditional" and modern scholarship on the Incas are well-represented. Overall, I'd highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn about the Incas, for anyone who wants to brush up, or for Andeanists who might be familiar with all this, but still find having it whispered in their ear comforting.

    The recording itself has various problems, such as repeated sections, but nothing too terrible. The reading is not bad, but seems a bit like the recording process was rushed and a little uncomfortable for Dr. D'Altroy. The pronunciation of Quechua words is surprisingly horrible for someone who spent years doing fieldwork in central Perú.

    So... give it a listen! If you have knowledge of Quechua just laugh a bit; if you don't, please don't use this as a reference for its pronunciation!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert concord, NH, United States 05-17-11
    Robert concord, NH, United States 05-17-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Essential"

    After reading this books reviews I was curious if I would be wasting my money In buying it. I needed something for my upcoming trip to Machu Picchu so I decided to give it a shot (good decision). One of the things that I liked about this lecture series was the size, 14 lectures. I needed a quick listen because I had booked my trip on the fly and time was running out, most of this would be listened to in airports and planes.

    So the audio book was fine to Fantastic, and It was worth the purchase. I
    think there may be a difference in my review because of my mission, as a
    trained areonautical engineer you focus on mission and when reviewing this I needed: backgrund on the incas, background on cuzco, background on the inca trail, cultural understanding and the inca story.

    I think this is a tall order for any lecture series! However, the book delivered on it all, as I sit in my Lima hotel room Getting ready for my last day out in the city of kings, before heading to the states, I had to pause and give the author a "Very Well Done." My trip Peru would not have been the same without this lecture series.

    The material was clear, interesting and kept my attention, moreover it was needed as the storys you will get told from guides will vary and you need a baseline. When I travel I like to have the history on a place, So if you plan on doing a little research on a trip and want the benefit of a person that is obviously very educated on the topic then get this audio book, if you just like to learn get this book. Personally I find learning very entertaining. While the lecturer could have been a better storyteller it was not bad, not bad at all. I strongly recommend this title.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    antonio genthod, Switzerland 10-10-14
    antonio genthod, Switzerland 10-10-14 Member Since 2011

    A reviewer's got to do what a reviewer's got to do

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    "ok, but a bit too didactic"

    This is more a book addressed to students that need to learn about the different aspects of the Incas civilization for a specific exam, than to "average Joe" interested to learn about the history of a great civilization in all its vibrant aspects . The clash with the Spaniards and the end of the Incas empire is dealt quickly in the last chapter , almost as it was an addendum to the details of the religious ceremonials or of the variety of the Incas pottery.
    The recording (and at times the reading) of prof D'Altroy is at times poor ; not a big deal, but gives a sense of sloppiness

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vinicius Moreira Franklinton, Louisiana United States 09-29-11
    Vinicius Moreira Franklinton, Louisiana United States 09-29-11 Member Since 2009

    vini00

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    "Comprehensive quick description of the Incas"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This program is interesting and the content is reasonably comprehensive, although because of its breadth, details were only briefly presented, which in turn, leads me to the next aspect: books to compare.


    What other book might you compare The Modern Scholar to and why?

    Rather than compare, I would suggest people listen to the "Last Days of the Incas", before taking this lecture. That book is more paced and the author takes its time describing details more thoroughly. It will help with understanding Professor's D'Altroy's lecture.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Rotterdam, Netherlands 03-19-11
    Amazon Customer Rotterdam, Netherlands 03-19-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting topic told in a less interesting way"

    Some parts were very interesting, other parts were told in a way that made it difficult to follow. There are also 2 or 3 mistakes in cutting of the audio book, which do not make the material unintelligible, but still, shouldn't be there.
    All in all, it's not a bad audio book, but there are better pieces from Modern Scholar.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doris 07-31-14
    Doris 07-31-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Original, or ....?"

    I just finished this lecture and this morning started to listen to Charles Mann's "1491." About three hours into the Mann book, I thought I'd somehow pressed a repeat button, because I was hearing the exact words I'd heard yesterday - until I remembered that yesterday I was listening to D'Altroy's lecture, not Mann's book. Coincidence? I think not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-28-14
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    "Good but not outstanding"
    If you could sum up The Modern Scholar in three words, what would they be?

    knowledgeable


    What did you like best about this story?

    Good content, but not as analytic or thematic as I would have liked


    What about Terence N. D'Altroy’s performance did you like?

    Well spoken and articulate


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Metcalfe, ON, Canada 03-31-14
    Kim Metcalfe, ON, Canada 03-31-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Some editing hiccups"

    The lectures were interesting and well-presented. However, there were a couple of places where there seemed to be an editing problem and almost the same thing was said twice in a row.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vivian 03-25-14
    Vivian 03-25-14
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    "great prep for peru trip"
    What made the experience of listening to The Modern Scholar the most enjoyable?

    professor has very pleasant voice and made details interesting listened in prep for trip to Machu Pichu


    What about Terence N. D'Altroy’s performance did you like?

    enjoyed his narration


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dacostri 04-30-13
    dacostri 04-30-13 Member Since 2010
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    "When to hire a professional Narrator 101"

    The author’s knowledge of ancient Inca culture is most impressive but he fails to deliver it - in an interesting manner – to his audience. Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs for example, was written and presented extremely well by Barbara Mertz and Lorna Raver respectively. This audio book was extremely difficult to listen to and there were moments where I literally dreaded to switch it on. A note to Modern Scholar – Please hire professional narrators!

    I was planning to travel to Peru this year but have postponed it in favour of Greece. The reason being that this audio book has put me off Peru and I need time for it to be diluted from my memory. Machu Picchu, don’t go anywhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Dennis
    Altrincham, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    4/13/09
    Overall
    "Accessible and brought the Incas to life"

    I chose this because I am going to Peru next year and plan to visit Macchu Pichu and other Inca sites, so wanted to go prepared with some background knowledge. This was the only audible book I could find on the subject so I took a risk, half expecting a dry indigestible history book.

    This book isn't like that at all. It provided a very complete grounding into the rise, reign and downfall of the Incas as a well-structured series of discrete lectures, each focusing on a specific aspect. Some parts are a but dryer than others - but that is inevitable. Any book that is going to cover all aspects of Inca rule will have to go into some areas that are less exciting than others. But overall this is a book anyone interested in genning up on the Incas will enjoy. It's all there and presented very engagingly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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