Speaking at a 1913 National Geographic Society gala, Hiram Bingham III, the American explorer celebrated for finding the “lost city” of the Andes two years earlier, suggested that Machu Picchu “is an awful name, but it is well worth remembering.” Millions of travelers have since followed Bingham’s advice. When Bingham first encountered Machu Picchu, the site was an obscure ruin. Now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu is the focus of Peru’s tourism economy. Mark Rice’s history of Machu Picchu in the twentieth century—from its “discovery” to today’s travel boom—reveals how Machu Picchu was transformed into both a global travel destination and a powerful symbol of the Peruvian nation.
Rice shows how the growth of tourism at Machu Picchu swayed Peruvian leaders to celebrate Andean culture as compatible with their vision of a modernizing nation. Encompassing debates about nationalism, Indigenous peoples’ experiences, and cultural policy—as well as development and globalization—the book explores the contradictions and ironies of Machu Picchu’s transformation. On a broader level, it calls attention to the importance of tourism in the creation of national identity in Peru and Latin America as a whole.
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Praise for Making Machu Picchu:
“Not only the first serious treatment of Machu Picchu’s central role in the development of tourism in Peru, this book also brilliantly explores the importance of tourism and Machu Picchu to Peru’s self-fashioning as a nation directly descended from the ‘great civilization’ of the Incas. Making Machu Picchu is a welcome and essential contribution to a broader effort to complete the puzzle of Peru’s modern history.”—Paulo Drinot, University College London
“An authoritative treatment of the not-so-inevitable travails of Machu Picchu’s role in the evolution of regional identity. . . . Rice weaves a graceful and coherent narrative of the intellectual and economic forces that eventually thrust Machu Picchu into its unlikely role . . . as a symbol—indeed, the symbol, by the turn of the twenty-first century—of national identity.” — Evan Ward, Brigham Young University
“Making Machu Picchu is a most welcome contribution to historical approaches to tourism development in Latin America. With its lively prose and marvelous detail, this book should be enjoyed by students, researchers, and a wider public, perhaps including many who have themselves undertaken journeys to the famed site that was newly “discovered” over a century ago.” — Florence E. Babb, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
“This engaging book offers sophisticated insights into how local and international forces influenced tourism and nation-state formation in Peru. . . . Essential” — Choice Reviews.
“A serious academic work about a subject that historians have only recently taken seriously…This book is recommended reading for students and scholars interested in modern Peruvian history, the history of tourism in Latin America, or archaeological tourism around the world; cultural historians of US foreign relations; and anyone who has ever thought of or dreamed of visiting Machu Picchu.” — Blake C. Scott, College of Charleston
“Rice adeptly shows how shifting dynamics between regional autonomy, national governmental policies and transnational capital shaped the story of the restoration, management and promotion of Machu Picchu.” — David M.R. Orr, University of Sussex
“Rice’s straightforward analysis makes his text accessible for readers unfamiliar with Peruvian history. This book would work well in an undergraduate course or a graduate-level seminar. It adds a depth of understanding to a place so frequently characterized as a one-dimensional tourist destination.” — Lisa Covert, College of Charleston