Conquest of the Incas

Hemming, John. The Conquest of the Incas. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Inc., 1970.

Reason read: December is supposedly the best time to visit Peru. Who knew?

Hemming explains his book as such, “Here I have tried to penetrate the clouds of conflicting hyperbole in contemporary reports and treatises” (p 17).

It is always difficult to read histories such as this because when it comes right down to it, this is a conquest of a people who were indigenous to the land; in other words, people who were “there” first. I found myself holding my breath when I read the sentence, “the moment had finally come when the first Spaniards were to confront the ruler of Peru” (page 33) because you just knew they were going to execute him at some point (and they did). All that aside, Hemming does a thorough job detailing the Spanish conquest of Peru. It is a worthy read, especially if you are planning to visit the region.

As an aside, Francisco Pizarro’s fanatical determination reminded me not a little of Percy Fawcett and his expedition into the Amazon. Which then reminded me of River of Doubt by Candice Millard, which I am reading now.

Author fact: Hemming is an expert on the Incas.

Book trivia: Conquest includes six pages of maps.

Nancy said: Conquest is one of three major histories of the Spanish Conquest of Peru.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Peru(sing) Peru” (p 177).

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