Too Rich: The High Life and Tragic Death of King Farouk

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Egypt's King Farouk (1920-1965), organizer of the Arab League which attacked Israel in 1948, often regarded as a corrupt, sybaritic, hypersexed autocrat, is grossly misperceived in the West, maintains Stadiem in this glitzy, unconvincing biography. Farouk has been unfairly portrayed as a friend of the Third Reich, claims the author, arguing that the king's German sympathies were strictly a function of Anglophobia, not of anti-Semitism, and pointing to Farouk's many Jewish friends, advisers and mistresses. Stadiem ( Marilyn Monroe Confidential ) limns Farouk as a genuinely popular ruler, ``a smiling blond god, a pharaoh whom the masses . . . could genuinely like and want to . . . serve.'' He illuminates the CIA's role in abetting the Nasser-led officer coup that toppled the king in 1952. He also presents suggestive evidence that Farouk's assassination in exile was the work of Egypt's secret service with the complicity of the Italian government. Photos. (June)
Library Journal
King Farouk was the last of the dynasty begun by Mohamed Ali, an Albanian tobacco merchant who assumed power over Egypt in 1805 under the protective wing of the occupying French. Becoming king in 1920 at the age of 16 under the mindful control of various domestic Egyptian groups and the dominating power of Great Britain, Farouk ruled during a turbulent time in Egyptian and Middle East history that was marked by the creation of the Arab League, the first Arab-Israeli conflict, and heated nationalist opposition to the British . Instead of being the shrewd political leader that Egypt needed, Farouk was a materialistic womanizer and corpulent spendthrift whose outrageous lifestyle eventually led to his downfall. Deposed in 1952 after a military coup d'etat led by Gamal Abdul Nasser, he went into exile, dying in Rome in 1965 under suspicious circumstances, according to the author. Best supplemented by Peter Batty's video ``Farouk: Last of the Pharaohs'' (Peter Batty Productions, 1970), it is recommended as an optional purchase for most collections.-- Sanford R. Silverburg, Catawba Coll., Salisbury, N.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881846294
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1991
  • Edition description: 1st Carroll & Graf ed
  • Pages: 320

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Authoritative, Well-researched Biography

    This book is a "must read" for every Egyptian born after 1952. The author went to great lengths to document & verify every little detail of King Farouk's life. Each detail was researched, verified from more than one source, eye witness accounts, as well as official documents. It is a powerful, highly credible, factual, & extremely revealing book about a very important period in Egypt's history. The life of King Farouk is the backbone of Egypt's modern day history. Every step, every decision, every move King Farouk made reveals a truth that was not only hidden from history books, but also completely and totally falsified. (for example, "the king was a drunk!" The book reveals he never touched alcohol). Similarly the book dispelled other falsehoods regarding the relationship between the Palace & England, the multi-party political system, the Nahass' cabinet, political assassinations, who was the real man behind the creation of "Pan Arabism" & the Arab League, who was patriotic & loyal to Egypt & who was a collaborator with the occupying power.
    If it were up to me, I would add this book to the history curriculum of every Egyptian school. But for now, I highly recommend this book for those who want to learn the truth about modern day Egyptian history. This is not simply a book about the "life of King Farouk" it is a historical, factual, accurate documentation of Egyptian history.

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    If memory could serve.........,

    Farouk of Egypt deserves more attention and impartial in depth analysis into the personality of a very young boy who , on the sudden demise of his father Fouad I, prematurely succeeded him to become His Majesty the King at the age of 16. (A teenage monarch indeed). <BR/><BR/>He disagreed with Britain over the manner by which the Sudan should be ruled. The King strove to unite the Crown to include Egypt's suzerainty over the Sudan, but Britain demurred. <BR/>When he was approached to enlist his country in the Central Treaty Organization (later known as Baghdad Pact) he made it conditional on the British and the Americans to recognise him as the King of Egypt and of Sudan first, and then to join. <BR/>The Americans were trying to cultivate Farouk's friendship and did not pressure him to join the pact. Whereas the British were unhappy with the King for quite sometime (since 1942) and accused him of foiling their plans to keep 1936 treaty concerning their presence in the Suez Canal Zone. <BR/>And this issue remained pending until the day he abdicated in 1952. <BR/><BR/>The King was staggered at the news that he would have to leave particularly after reassurances he had received from the American Ambassador. It seemed absurd that the only promise the Americans could make was to guarantee his personal security and his family on their way out from Egypt, never to return again. <BR/>"all these promises that no one was prepared to honour' the king used to say to his wife Queen Nariman Sadeq. <BR/>In truth this was just another misunderstanding between allies - England, USA and Egypt, who had never understood each other. <BR/><BR/>Also in truth, what started as `intimate' relationship of connivance between the military Junta that deposed the King in July 1952 and the USA, soon degenerated into a dispute. The gist of the quarrel was simple. Nasser shall never agree to what the deposed King of Egypt declined to accept. <BR/><BR/>The Egyptian army had hardly covered itself with glory when they deposed the King and abolished Mohammad Ali Dynasty (the true builders of modern Egypt). So where could the shame lie? <BR/>If History could speak it should point to vengeance of fate. <BR/>With a smile that cost him an effort, the deposed king said to Najib when he bid him farewell `I was planning to do what you did, you have only been faster; everything now depends on you. Egypt's fate is in your hands' <BR/>Even this last wish from the King they could not nourish.

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