Four Feudal Estates
This is one of my favorite history books; If I were making a top 10 list, or even top 5, I’m pretty sure this book would be on it. If you’re interested in military history, the book has Inca vs. Inca, Inca vs. Spanish, and Spanish vs. Spanish conflict. If you’re more interested in the social or economic aspects of history, there’s plenty of that as well.
People tend to think of the Inca empire as existing only in the mountains, but it also included tribes living in the Amazonian rainforest and Pacific coastal communities which built fishing and trading boats. The book describes the Inca economic system, where huge surpluses of goods such as blankets and sandals were stored in warehouses, and describes which aspects of the system were coopted by the Spanish and which ones were changed completely.
It’s been quite a few years since I read the book, so I’m sure it has interesting aspects which I’ve left out of the above description. However, the fact that it remains one of my favorite history books after so many years says a lot about its information content and entertainment value.