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A History of Egypt: From Earliest Times to the Present Paperback – December 1, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

A History of Egypt: From Earliest Times to the Present + The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt + The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt (Hist Atlas)
Price for all three: $40.87

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Uncorrected Proof edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030747352X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307473523
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Intended to offer travelers especially a basic background in Egyptian history, Thompson’s survey fluidly relates thousands of years of time. Acquainting readers with the conventional divisions of pharaonic Egypt into the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, Thompson highlights important events, or perhaps more saliently to visitors, the monuments built by the sequence of dynasties. From Egypt’s conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE, Thompson emphasizes that foreigners ruled the country continuously until 1952, legating layers of history with enduring visibility in Egyptian society, such as Christianity, Islam, and modernity. A strong aspect of the narrative, Thompson’s explanations of transitions in the governance of Egypt combine the political details with consideration of the tactics that would win people’s acceptance of a change in regime. Throughout the work, Egypt’s unusual geography—its dependence on the Nile River, its isolation by deserts—never strays far from the author’s narrative, just as today most Egyptians live, as they always have, within miles of the Nile’s banks. Integrating such elements with clarity and perspective, Thompson provides an excellent introduction to Egyptian history. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

"A remarkable work of synthesis, cohesion, and understanding.... Wonderfully vivid.... Extremely readable.... This is the first major work of its kind and it succeeds triumphantly." —Al-Ahram Weekly

"Full of insights.... Thompson's tone suggests a deep respect for Egypt and its history.... Packing it all into one book without any major errors of omission or emphasis requires considerable skill and breadth of vision." —Daily News Egypt


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A History of Egypt: From Earliest Times to the Present is a one-volume survey of Egyptian history from its earliest known human civilization to the present day. Though penned with scholarly rigor, A History of Egypt is accessible to readers of all backgrounds, and features a brief inset section of black-and-white photographic plates. "The most astonishing reversal of Egypt's relationship with the rest of the world has aroused little comment. During the Nasser years Egypt ceased being a net food producer and became a net food importer. The country that once provided food not only for itself but also for many others can no longer feed itself... The amount of arable land added by the construction of the High Dam has been more than wiped out by urbanization... Such development would be better located in the desert." An index rounds out this thoughtful and thorough history. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library shelves.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By marge on August 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jason Thompson's book is a world away from the dry history I was taught in school. This is a richly-layered adventure story of Egypt's history that keeps the reader's full attention. The author has a firm grasp of this vast subject and presents a fine balance of information and analysis. The book is carefully researched and referenced and convincing in its historical detail. It is a great achievement to write scholarly material that is so accessible for the general reader. Jason Thompson's lively style will be of interest to students and travelers as well as armchair mummy enthusiasts. A book that can keep my attention through 5,000 years of history deserves a medal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Olson on February 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is well-written and engaging. It covers a long time period with extensive detail. It could be improved with charts and timetables. Another problem is the lack of an index. This makes it difficult to look up individual topics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By likes good books, music, movies on December 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most pundits start with the Mubarak years when dissecting current events in Egypt. The author begins at 5300 B.C. If you want to understand the history unfolding in present day Egypt, read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DAVID ROBINSON MD on April 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy reading text spanning the history of a land at the cross roads of religion, politics and humanity. I'm sure I will read it again within the next year.
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