The Maya of Central America created one of the most dazzling civilizations on this earth, which is often compared to Ancient Greece. The Maya had a delight in creation, expressed in art, architecture, pottery, astronomy, mathematics and mythology, all combined with a deep, metaphysical fascination with time. This civilization seems to have collapsed in the ninth century, some five hundred years before the Spanish conquest of America. Ronald Wright travelled through the old territories of the Maya (the jungles and mountains of Guatemala, Belize and Mexico) to explore the ancient roots of their culture and to map out what has survived. Despite civil wars and centuries of oppression by first an Hispanic, then Mestizo culture, he discovers a region where seven million people still speak Mayan languages and struggle to maintain their resilient, indigenous culture. It is at once a riveting journey, written with wit and wisdom, but also a study of a civilization. It is travel writing at its broadest and its best.