The saga of the Incas of western South America has been told many times but it is again fascinating reading in this particularly sympathetic presentation. With the coming of Francisco Pizarro in 1532, and his murder of the Sapa Inca, Atahualpas, a great commonwealth came to an end. This study traces the origins of that commonwealth, on the stark slopes of the Andes; the achievements of these simple Indians who developed a fine system of farming and distribution of wealth, an admirable architecture, and a complex government backed up by a powerful army. There are glimpses of daily Inca life, both on the plantations and in the cities. Then finally the civil war which threatened the Inca civilization, Pizarro's massacre of thousands of Incas, and the resultant ""nightmare of chaos"" make a grim ending to what happened... An exciting story in itself, this also benefits from the skill of the handling here and adds a contemporary moral -- that civilizations other than those of the West have from time to time bested the West in the benefits and protection they offered their people.