- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: John Murray (24 Oct. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848548842
- ISBN-13: 978-1848548848
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 275,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cairo in the War: 1939-45 Paperback – 24 Oct 2013
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'As hard to put down as good fiction. The research is wide, detailed and scrupulous. It is hard to think, on finishing, how this demanding book could have been handled better, more lucidly or more entertaining' (Patrick Leigh Fermor, Times Literary Supplement)
'This informative and enjoyable book puts political history side-by-side with the personal sub-history of the characters who determined it . . . a mine of entertaining anecdotes' (Rana Kabbani, Observer)
'What lifts it out of the ordinary is the sparkle of the writing and its command of the background' (P. H. Newby, Sunday Telegraph)
'Much more than a lively and amusing social history. With enormous skill she has shaped it into a gripping account of the progress of the war itself and of the fortunes of its major protagonists. The result is bracing and salutary and very readable indeed' (Charles Allen, Sunday Times)
A history of the glamorous and military critical city of Cairo during the Second World WarSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
There is always a tendency in such chronicles to give greater scope to the testimonies of the Diarists and Memoirists, at the expense of the voiceless ordinary people.The former by in large tend to be endowed with large egos or great sense of power, thus exercising considerable fascination for the reader and historian alike.Read more ›
This book gives a straightforward account of events; concentrating understandably on the period of the Desert War. The changing military and political situation are handled well, and there is much about the bungling and rivalries that always seem to appear in such situations, as well as the machinations around the palace of King Farouk.
My one criticism is that there is nothing much about the majority of the population of Cairo (or Egypt). A lot of the material is about the social and cultural world of ex-pat Cairo; interesting as this is, it was a very narrow world and the author seemed more comfortable with this material than with some of the more complex issues going on elsewhere.
*You can read the full version of this review on my blog; there is a link on my profile page*
The first part of the book has a superb summation of the precarious position Britain was in, facing actual and near certain military defeats on a number of fronts all along with the need to balance perfidious allies amongst the Egyptians and local enemies determined to see the British presence eliminated. As some of the pressure is relieved after the start of the German assault on the Soviet Union and the Allies move back on the offensive in the Western Desert, Cooper interweaves the rivalries and back-biting disputes within the military and political spheres, mixed with the good times of Cairo, energetically embraced by those whose lives were at risk and those who were having a good war.
The photos are good and just a few more would be even better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good condition as advertised. Interesting account of WW2 in Egypt.Published 6 months ago by forrest
A great read - a well written story of the personalities of Cairo in WW2.
In the background you will lan a lot of the history behind Egyptioan political instability and WW2... Read more
Very detailed and knowledgeable account of Cairo during the war years. All the major personalities are mentioned in great detail.Published 13 months ago by Keith Willetts