In Search of an Inca: Identity and Utopia in the Andes

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Overview

In Search of an Inca examines how people in the Andean region have invoked the Incas to question and rethink colonialism and injustice, from the time of the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century until the late twentieth century. It stresses the recurrence of the "Andean utopia," that is, the idealization of the precolonial past as an era of harmony, justice, and prosperity and the foundation for political and social agendas for the future. In this award-winning work, Alberto Flores Galindo highlights how different groups imagined the pre-Hispanic world as a model for a new society. These included those conquered by the Spanish in the sixteenth century but also rebels in the colonial and modern era and a heterogeneous group of intellectuals and dissenters. This sweeping and accessible history of the Andes over the last five hundred years offers important reflections on and grounds for comparison of memory, utopianism, and resistance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"When the Spanish conquerors garroted Atahualpa in 1535, they killed an emperor but inaugurated the myth of the Inca's return. Flores Galindo, in his now-classic In Search of an Inca, traces the utopian myth that has persisted in many forms in the Andean region down to the present, inspiring uprisings, prophecies, sects, and local rituals. The most spectacular of the uprisings was the Tupac Amaru rebellion of 1780 that was punished with such severity that public indigenous culture was forced underground to be kept alive in the prodigious Andean memory bank. For as Flores Galindo emphasizes, there is no equivalent historical memory to that of the Andes, either in Europe or in Mexico. In Search of an Inca follows the underground path of myth and memory and the ethnic tensions that have preoccupied Peru's greatest thinkers. It is an absorbing story that needed to be told." - Jean Franco, Columbia University

"Alberto Flores Galindo was Peru's most creative historian in the post-1960s era. This book brilliantly interprets the yearnings for an Inca past that inspired struggles to reinvent Peru's present and future." - Steve J. Stern, Alberto Flores Galindo Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521598613
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2010
  • Series: New Approaches to the Americas Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Alberto Flores Galindo was an acclaimed historian and social critic who died in 1989 at age 40. In Search of an Inca won the prestigious Cuban Casa de las Américas Prize in 1986 and the Clarence Haring Prize from the American Historical Association in 1991. It is now in its fifth edition in Peru and has been published in Cuba, Mexico, and Italy. Flores Galindo was the author or editor of numerous other books, director of various scholarly journals, and recipient of many fellowships and honors. He received his doctoral degree from L'Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris) and taught at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima.

Carlos Aguirre is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oregon. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Minnesota in 1996. In 1999 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He is the author or co-editor of nine books, most recently Dénle duro que no siente: Poder y transgresión en el Perú republicano (2008).

Charles Walker is a Professor of History and Director of the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas at the University of California, Davis. His books include Shaky Colonialism: The 1746 Earthquake-Tsunami in Lima, Peru and Its Long Aftermath (2008) and Smoldering Ashes: Cuzco and the Creation of Republican Peru, 1780-1840 (1999).

Willie Hiatt is a Visiting Professor of History at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed his Ph.D. in history in 2009 at the University of California, Davis. His dissertation is entitled 'The Rarefied Air of the Modern: Aviation and Peruvian Participation in World History, 1910-1950.'

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Table of Contents

Editors' introduction; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Europe and the land of the Incas: the Andean utopia; 2. Communities and doctrines: the struggle for souls (central Andes, 1608-1666); 3. The spark and the fire: Juan Santos Atahualpa; 4. The Tupac Amaru Revolution and the Andean people; 5. Govern the world, disrupt the world; 6. Soldiers and montoneros; 7. A republic without citizens; 8. The utopian horizon; 9. The boiling point; 10. The silent war; 11. Epilogue: dreams and nightmares.

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