NY Times 'The White Rock': The Quest for an Incan Ruin
: "Toward the end of this engrossing book, Thomson attempts to summarize the allure the Incas offer to the 21st century and the attractive essence of Peru itself. What, he asks himself (and us), is it that we hope to find here that may not be on offer anywhere else? He believes that Peru is one of the last places where we can satisfy a deeply primitive need to discover the unknown, an opportunity that is partly created by what a Peruvian friend describes as 'the wonderful but impossible geography of the country.' But the haunting memory of the Incas and the vibrant traces of their civilization are also prime factors in this proposition. The Incas were, Thomson points out, one of the last people to have reached an extremely sophisticated level of autonomy before they were discovered by Europeans. As such, they take on a quasi-religious significance, fulfilling 'a need for the unfathomable and incomprehensible.'"