A History of Egypt from Earliest Times to the Present
Confronted by millennia of history, historians of Egypt have often focused on distinct eras—Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Ottoman or modern, for example—rather than write of a cohesive whole. This dearth of comprehensive histories is answered handsomely by Thompson’s survey of Egyptian history from pre-dynastic times to the contemporary nation-state. The editor of two previous collections of observations on Egyptian culture by 19th-century British orientalist Edward Lane, Thompson traces both the elements of continuity that span Egyptian history and the ways that the perceptions of western scholars have shaped the prevailing image of the country. Primarily a political history with some attention to society, culture and religion, Thompson’s straightforward account of the twists and turns of history and the people, famous and infamous, who have played a part in the story of Egypt will appeal to general readers and travelers seeking a historical background to all the marvels found in the land of the Nile, from pyramids to traffic jams, as well as to current events there.