The Modern Scholar

Customer Reviews

94 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
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  • 1 Stars

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5 out of 5 stars
By Ullanta on 09-19-11

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!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Rick on 12-26-14

A Fleeting Empire

As a resident of the Andes, I thought I’d better learn a little more about the Incas, whose legendary empire encompassed immense portions of South America and established monumental cities and road systems—but really lasted only a century in its full imperial incarnation.

Terence D’Altroy knows his Inca (and pre-Inca) history, and his lectures are lively and articulate. The recording does have some editing errors causing repetitions, and the droning “announcer” before and after each section, with the contrived insertion of one question from an unheard student, recalls the most deadly of voices from the old days of classroom films. But that is cosmetic, and overall, this very accessible series of lectures offers more than almost anyone could wish to know about the lightning rise and dizzying fall of one of the greatest and briefest of the world’s dynasties.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Robert on 05-17-11


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.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By antonio on 10-10-14

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

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By H. Alotaibi on 06-18-16

Repeats paragraphs

I found some repeats in chapter 1 and 2; for example in chapter 2 the story about cocoa leaf repeats.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By BF Palo Alto on 06-28-14

Good but not outstanding

If you could sum up The Modern Scholar in three words, what would they be?


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

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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