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

Most Helpful
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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Dennis on 04-13-09

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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