Synopses & Reviews
What happens when an unadventurous adventure writer tries to re-create the original expedition to Machu Picchu?
In 1911, Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and “discovered” Machu Picchu. While history has recast Bingham as a villain who stole both priceless artifacts and credit for finding the great archeological site, Mark Adams set out to retrace the explorer’s perilous path in search of the truth—except he’d written about adventure far more than he’d actually lived it. In fact, he’d never even slept in a tent.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu is Adams’ fascinating and funny account of his journey through some of the world’s most majestic, historic, and remote landscapes guided only by a hard-as-nails Australian survivalist and one nagging question: Just what was Machu Picchu?
"Journalist Adams, whose previous Mr. America was an entertaining rediscovery of the life of early 20th-century fitness guru Bernard Macfadden, explores the weird crevasses of American exploration. In this fascinating history/travelogue, Adams looks at the work of Hiram Bingham III, who became a national sensation after he 'discovered' the ancient city of Machu Picchu in July 1911. To celebrate the centennial of Bingham's discovery, Adams attempts to follow Bingham's exact footsteps through the Andes Mountains of Peru, with two clear goals: to figure out 'how Bingham had gotten to Machu Picchu in the first place' and, in the face of recent claims that he had illegally smuggled artifacts out of the country, to understand the broader story of Bingham's 'all-consuming attempt to solve the mystery of why such a spectacular granite city had been built in such a spellbinding location.' Adams successfully weaves Bingham's tales as well as resuscitating Bingham's positive reputation and accomplishments into his own description of difficult but often amusing travels with his companions, a rugged Australian survivalist and four local mule tenders, which climaxes with an amazing visual moment that happens only once a year at Machu Picchu on the morning of the winter solstice. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[An] entirely delightful book." Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
“Quite funny and unpretentiously well informed…The perfect way to acknowledge the lost city’s 100th birthday.” Christian Science Monitor (“Editor’s Choice”)
“An engaging, informative guide to all things Inca.” Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
Mark Adams is the author of the acclaimed history Mr. America, which The Washington Post named a Best Book of 2009, and the New York Times bestseller Turn Right at Machu Picchu. He writes for many national magazines, including GQ, Men’s Journal, and New York. He lives near New York City with his family.