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.
Robert L. Tignor is the Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Emeritus, at Princeton University, where he taught for forty-six years and served as chair of the History Department for fourteen years. He is the author of several previous books on Egyptian history.
"Ambitious in scope, Egypt: A Short History provides an informative and readable account for the interested general reader."--Anthony Gorman, Times Higher Education
"Robert L. Tignor's ambitious Egypt: A Short History stretches from the Predynastic age to the present, tying the various periods together in a continuous 5,000-year narrative to create a lengthy history told in a short book. . . . Tignor writes with an easy, assured style, and his history becomes more focused and more authoritative as it progresses. He tells us it was conceived as an alternative guidebook for discerning tourists wishing to learn about more than just pyramids and pharaohs: as such--as an enjoyable book written by someone who clearly knows and loves Egypt and the Egyptians--it serves its purpose very well."--Financial Times
"[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
"A brief look at Egypt's history can help us both understand the making of Egypt and the reasons behind what has already been dubbed Egypt's unfinished revolution."--Lisa Kaaki, Arab News
"From Hyksos chariots to Egypt's latest venture in the desert, Egypt: A Short History is vintage Robert Tignor: concise, straightforward, and comprehensive. He manages to introduce primers on the sects of Islam, the trajectory of the Ottoman Empire, and other subjects ranging well beyond Egypt. And he gives fair warning: if you want to be mummified, your brain will be drawn out through your nose."--John Waterbury, American University of Beirut
Table of Contents:
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
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Robert L. Tignor: