INCA AND SPANIARD: Pizarro and the Conquest of Peru by Albert Marrin

INCA AND SPANIARD: Pizarro and the Conquest of Peru

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A companion volume to Aztecs and Spaniards (1986) tells the sad, bloody tale of another New World empire's brutal dismemberment. Martin presents the ""Land of the Four Quarters"" as an empire with impressive public works; a stem, efficient, totalitarian government; and a relatively homogeneous society that--thanks to gloomy prophecies, civil war, and Old World diseases--proved remarkably fragile. Using techniques developed by Cort‚s and cleverly exploiting his own strengths (horses, heavy armor, new weapons, reckless courage), Pizarro--an aging mercenary--quickly took control of major cities and hauled off enormous quantities of loot. Since the period is not well documented, Martin generalizes extensively and can only suggest why Pizarro's small band was so easily able to overcome huge armies, often without a casualty; in his lurid narrative, Spaniards are depicted as cruel and treacherous (""Soldiers raped [Manco's] wives before his eyes, and the Pizarros chuckled""), the Inca as accomplished but weak. Though Martin does not cite specific sources for his research, he does, commendably, depart from the ""March of Civilization"" view of the conquest common to older books. A long list of adult books is appended; illustrations and index not seen.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1989
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Atheneum