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Cradle of Gold: the Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu (11 Edition)


Cradle of Gold: the Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu (11 Edition) Cover


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Publisher Comments:

In 1911, a young Peruvian boy led an American explorer and Yale historian named Hiram Bingham into the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. Hidden amidst the breathtaking heights of the Andes, this settlement of temples, tombs and palaces was the Incas' greatest achievement. Tall, handsome, and sure of his destiny, Bingham believed that Machu Picchu was the Incas final refuge, where they fled the Spanish Conquistadors. Bingham made Machu Picchu famous, and his dispatches from the jungle cast him as the swashbuckling hero romanticized today as a true Indiana Jones-like character. But his excavation of the site raised old specters of conquest and plunder, and met with an indigenous nationalism that changed the course of Peruvian history. Though Bingham successfully realized his dream of bringing Machu Picchus treasure of skulls, bones and artifacts back to the United States, conflict between Yale and Peru persists through the present day over a simple question: Who owns Inca history?

In this grand, sweeping narrative, Christopher Heaney takes the reader into the heart of Peru's past to relive the dramatic story of the final years of the Incan empire, the exhilarating recovery of their final cities and the thought-provoking fight over their future. Drawing on original research in untapped archives, Heaney vividly portrays both a stunning landscape and the complex history of a fascinating region that continues to inspire awe and controversy today.

Book News Annotation:

Hiram Bingham (born 1875), a historian from Yale University, discovered the ancient fortress of Machu Pichu in Peru. Heaney, a doctoral fellow in Latin American history at the University of Texas-Austin, recreates Bingham's journey and examines the controversy surrounding Bingham's exploitation and possible theft of Machu Pichu relics. The author draws on Bingham's journals, manuscripts, and previously unexamined letters in Spanish to recreate a tale of political intrigue, smuggling, betrayal, and the lost history of the Spanish conquest of Peru. The book alternates between several time periods: the Inca period and the Spanish conquest, Bingham's discovery, and the present-day debate over whether the Machu Pichu artifacts belong at Yale University or in Peru. The book is illustrated with b&w historical photos, plus b&w illustrations of Bingham's journey drawn in the style of a 17th-century manuscript authored by an Inca scribe. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Christopher Heaney worked as a journalist in Peru on a Fulbright fellowship. He has written articles on Hiram Bingham for the New Republic and The New York Times. A graduate of Yale University, he is currently a doctoral candidate in Latin American History at the University of Texas, Austin.

Table of Contents

Map * Preface: Beneath the Hat * The Last City of the Incas: the Sixteenth-Century Conquest * THE EXPLORER * The Black Temple * Ivory Tower * The Compass * The George Washington of the Andes/Into the Andes * The Navel of the World * Choqquequirau, The Cradle of Gold * Manco Inca * THE SEARCH * Best Laid Plans * Dead Mans Gulch * The Discoverers of Machu Picchu * Yurak Rumi/The White Temple * The Plain of Ghosts * Titu Cusi *  THE TREASURE * The Deal * The Resurrectionists * The Debate * The Prize * Tupac Amaru * WAR * Between the Poles * Bonesmen * Roads to Ruins * The Trial of Hiram Bingham * Airborne * The Return

Product Details

Heaney, Christopher
Palgrave MacMillan
South America
Americas (North Central South West Indies)
World History-South America
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Plus one 8-page black-and-white glossy i
9.19 x 6.16 x 0.89 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Archaeology » Central and South America
History and Social Science » Archaeology » Incas and Peru
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » South America

Cradle of Gold: the Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu (11 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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