This book complements Constance Irwin's Fair Gods and Stone Faces, though the materials overlap. Mr. Honore is perhaps more scholarly and personal, while Miss Irwin is more thorough and full of theorizations. Both books are worth anyone's attention, their common subject being genuinely awesome; vanished South and Central American empires. Did the Indian empires spring up independently? Or were the most valuable civilizing influences in the Inca, Mayan, Aztec and other pre-Columbian cultures contributed by traders from the ancient Mediterranean world? Foremost proof for the latter are the still-continuing legends among Indians that White Gods with blond hair and beards once visited every major Indian culture, then departed with promises to return. Statues commemorating the visit still exist. Cortes's arrival at the coast of Mexico had, as a fact, been predicted by Aztec priests to the very day and the Spaniards were greeted as the very gods of former times. This impression wore off. Mr. Honore makes many comparisons between the arts and sciences of the Mediterranean and Indian cultures and presents photographic evidence for many of his conclusions. He covers every known Indian civilization and makes a case for one we don't know about (perhaps the very largest of all) along the banks of the Amazon. Our names are written on water, friend!