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This is a sweeping, colorful, and concise narrative history of Egypt from the beginning of human settlement in the Nile River valley 5000 years ago to the present day. Accessible, authoritative, and richly illustrated, this is an ideal introduction and guide to Egypt's long, brilliant, and complex history for general readers, tourists, and anyone else who wants a better understanding of this vibrant and fascinating country, one that has played a central role in world history for millennia—and that continues to do so today.
Respected historian Robert Tignor, who has lived in Egypt at different times over the course of five decades, covers all the major eras of the country's ancient, modern, and recent history. A cradle of civilization, ancient Egypt developed a unique and influential culture that featured a centralized monarchy, sophisticated art and technology, and monumental architecture in the form of pyramids and temples. But the great age of the pharaohs is just the beginning of the story and Egypt: A Short History also gives a rich account of the tumultuous history that followed—from Greek and Roman conquests, the rise of Christianity, Arab-Muslim triumph, and Egypt's incorporation into powerful Islamic empires to Napoleon's 1798 invasion, the country's absorption into the British Empire, and modern, postcolonial Egypt under Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak.
This book provides an indispensable key to Egypt in all its layers—ancient and modern, Greek and Roman, and Christian and Islamic. In a new afterword the author analyzes the recent unrest in Egypt and weighs in on what the country might look like after Mubarak.
"[T]horough, engaging, and accessible. . . . Concise and yet engagingly vivid, this outstanding little book should be enjoyed by any reader interested in Egypt or Middle Eastern history."—Joan W. Gartland, Library Journal
"Ambitious in scope, Egypt: A Short History provides an informative and readable account for the interested general reader."—Anthony Gorman, Times Higher Education
"[O]ne could not write a better account of Egypt's history—a gift from a master historian at the conclusion of his career."—Henry E. Chambers, Middle East Journal
"If you love Egypt, then this book is an excellent introduction to its multi-faceted history and culture."—Ancient Egypt
"Senior history Tignor presents an elegant yet accessible survey that carries readers from predynastic times to the present. Illustrated with 25 color plates, two maps, and six figures, this work aims to please the sophisticated reader whose objective is to learn the broad contours of Egyptian political, economic, and religious history. . . . [S]tudents, tourists, travelers, and businesspersons alike will find this a useful text."—Choice
"[An] excellent summation of the flow of Egyptian history."—Morris L. Bierbrier, Egyptian Archaeology
"Tignor's book has arrived on bookshelves at a most fortuitous time, when the number of . . . general readers seeking information about Egypt is greatly enlarged, given the extensive media coverage of the 'Arab spring' of 2011. In Egypt: A Short History, this audience will find an invaluable guide to the impulses that have stirred Egyptians in both the recent and the distant past."—Paul Sedra, Journal of World History
"Clear prose, personal vignettes from his own travels to Egypt, perspectives and scenes familiar to any tourist in Cairo and Alexandria, and fine scholarship are all brought together in a book that could easily become a reference title for future generations, a title to be consulted by all those wishing to travel to that magical land."—Lavinia Stan, European Legacy
List of Illustrations vii
CHAPTER ONE The Land and People 1
CHAPTER TWO Egypt during the Old Kingdom 26
CHAPTER THREE The Middle and New Kingdoms 51
CHAPTER FOUR Nubians, Greeks, and Romans, circa 1200 BCE-632 CE 80
CHAPTER FIVE Christian Egypt 105
CHAPTER SIX Egypt within Islamic Empires, 639-969 122
CHAPTER SEVEN Fatimids, Ayyubids, and Mamluks, 969-1517 146
CHAPTER EIGHT Ottoman Egypt, 1517-1798 174
CHAPTER NINE Napoleon Bonaparte, Muhammad Ali, and Ismail: Egypt in the Nineteenth Century 196
CHAPTER TEN The British Period, 1882-1952 228
CHAPTER ELEVEN Egypt for the Egyptians, 1952-1981: Nasser and Sadat 256
CHAPTER TWELVE Mubarak’s Egypt 282
CONCLUSION Egypt through the Millennia 311
Posted December 30, 2014
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