In a series of episodes as fantastic as any fiction, a powerful civilization crumbled at the hands of a small band of warriors. Written by one of America's great historians, this gripping chronicle draws upon the firsthand accounts of eminent sixteenth-century captains and statesmen to relate the overthrow of the Inca empire by the Spanish adventurers under Pizarro's command. Author William H. Prescott's immensely readable narrative crackles with drama as he characterizes both conqueror and conquered. Rich in vivid anecdotes, it recaptures the glories of Inca society before European contact, and it paints fascinating portraits of the conquistadors and their courage, cruelty, and pride. Prescott's reconstructions of the attitudes and motivations behind the tumultuous events of the Spanish conquest offer memorable, insightful views of New World history that have made this book a popular classic.