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Whose Pharaohs?: Archæology, Museums, and Egyptian National Identity from Napoleon to World War I Paperback – November 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0520240698 ISBN-10: 0520240693 Edition: 1ST

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Whose Pharaohs?: Archæology, Museums, and Egyptian National Identity from Napoleon to World War I + Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1ST edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520240693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520240698
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,137,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In his Rape of the Nile, Brian Fagan presented a popular survey showing how Europeans and later Americans descended upon Egypt as soldiers, tourists, and scholars to loot the country's ancient heritage with no concern for the aspirations of the Egyptians themselves. Fred Bratton's A History of Egyptian Archaeology traced the development of modern Egyptology with no reference to Egyptian scholars. Reid (history, Georgia State Univ.), the author of several books on the Middle East, here offers a scholarly assessment of the reaction of the Egyptian intelligentsia to the plundering and control of the nation's antiquities and the role these activities played in the growth of Egyptian nationalism. As Reid shows, the Europeans established museums for Pharaonic artifacts but paid little or no attention to the Coptic and Islamic architectural and artistic legacy. The Egyptians took it upon themselves to found museums and institutions to preserve and study these treasures. Reid documents the tensions between the Egyptians and the Europeans who administered Egyptian institutions in a lively narrative with full references and an extensive bibliography. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries. Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Illuminates such. . . themes as the shaping of national ideologies, the political relevance of transnational scholarship and the Orientalism debate, and the role of tourism in international relations....[Reid's] is a balanced account with empathy for all. An accomplished narrative historian, [he] manages to make massive detail compelling reading."--Foreign Affairs -- Review

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Browning on April 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The wholesale looting of the Baghdad Museum on Apr. 11-12, which U.S. troops did nothing to prevent, has lent a fresh plangency and interest to this remarkable new book about history, culture, museums, caretakers, theft, corruption and the dogfights between the West and Islam over antiquities vastly older than either culture.
In two days in Baghdad, thousands of priceless treasures up to 5,000 years old have disappeared into the pockets and pickup trucks of larcenous mobs. However the Bush administration's Iraqi adventure is seen a century from now, the loss to human history and culture it occasioned is probably irreparable. Artifacts older than Abraham the patriarch have been stolen, ruinously dispersed, probably destined to be melted down for modern bangles. They will exist only in photographs, if at all, for the mobs destroyed the museum's archives as well, according to the New York Times.
Donald Malcolm Reid, a professor of history at Georgia State University, has assembled a very clear, comprehensive account of another, longer, more complex process of ruin, preservation and expropriation. In this sharply written, poignantly illustrated and lucidly organized book, Reid describes how Egyptian civilization was rediscovered by Europe after Napoleon invaded the place in the early 19th century, and how its treasures were first plundered, then exported, then preserved by Europeans who generally regarded the country as their own private piggy-bank. The living Egyptians they encountered were, in their eyes, little more than ignorant Muslim fanatics.
But they weren't. As Reid makes clear, a handful of enlightened Egyptian scholars were fascinated by the Pharaohs and were proud of their land's past.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chelsea Heidt on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a book for one of my classes at school. I expected a lot going into it, as the topic should have been extremely interesting to someone who loves history. But the book is EXTREMELY boring, more of an outright listing of a sequence of events than an explanation of them or the circumstances surrounding them. It's also very sloppy and unorganized. Reid doesn't stay with any one person, region, time period, or theme long enough for what's he's writing to make sense; instead, he constantly jumps around, making it necessary to keep a separate, written list of people and places if you want to make any sense of what's going on.
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