MacQuarrie The boys and I went to see Kim MacQuarrie give a talk Thursday night about his new book, “The Last Days of the Incas” at Olsson’s Bookstore in Arlington, VA. MacQuarrie is a documentary filmmaker, and he spent some 4+ years in Peru. While there he spent some time living among a “newly discovered” Amazonian Indian tribe. His interest in the Inca was piqued, and he subsequently spent 3 years researching and writing this book. He goes over the story of how ~160 Spanish were able to “conquer” some 30,000 Incas (and eventually the entire Inca civilization of some 10 million). The Spanish killed the Inca ruler Atahualpa in a despicable double-cross (the Inca had filled a room with gold as a ransom; the Spanish took the gold and killed Atahualpa anyway). That story is well known. Turns out the Inca didn’t just lay down their arms quietly after that. The book goes on to tell about the ~40 year “guerrilla” war the Inca waged against the Spanish after the execution of the Inca ruler. He touched on the “discovery” in 1911 of Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham, and also for the modern search for the lost Inca city of Vilcabamba ( the search is still underway).

Enjoyable talk, and the author inscribed a copy of the book to me afterwards. I believe he currently lives in the DC area. Interestingly, I saw him on the subway on the way home later in the evening (he was in another car); I wonder if he saw me reading his book. :)

The audio recording of the talk is available (from my Canon Powershot S3 IS).