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The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by [Wilkinson, Toby]
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The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Length: 673 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

Praise for Early Dynastic Egypt 'The extraordinary scope and outstanding quality of this synthesis makes it a work of scholarship of the highest quality and a major contribution to Egyptology' Chronique d'Egypte 'A reliable and essential book which Egyptologists will consult regularly and rewardingly' Antiquity 'This volume will be a standard reference for years to come' Journal of African History

Book Description

A brilliantly readable, beautifully illustrated general history of ancient Egypt, from the builders of the first pyramids to Cleopatra

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 19906 KB
  • Print Length: 673 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408810026
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; 1 edition (28 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FPM9RRA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #264,335 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started this book thinking it was an interesting, detailed history of Ancient Egypt "from 300BC to Cleopatra". But perhaps that sub-title should have set alarm bells ringing. Why not "Narmer to Cleopatra; or 3000BC to 30BC? For the first few chapters I was thinking "That's interesting" or "How does anyone know that?". But then the doubts set in. In the attempt to provide an accessible narrative history, Toby Wilkinson has washed away nearly all the ambiguity and careful weighing of fragmentary evidence that's surely an ineveitable part of Egyptology. And for this reader at least, he seemed to lose any flavour of how the nature of Egyptian civilisation changed during the course of 3000 years. (As an example, I read several early parts of the text as implying a monetary economy surely much too early in the story.) Instead of this, read Barry Kemp's "Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization" (preferably the 2nd Edition), or if you must have narrative history, "The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt" (edited by Ian Shaw).
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Format: Hardcover
To me, Toby Wilkinson has a view of ancient Egypt that must have been shaped by some of Hollywood's best efforts. He appears to see the Pharaohs only as despots who took the produce of the country and gave nothing back. The book even starts with Shelly's 'Ozymandias' (based on one of the worst of the bunch, Rameses II). True, with some Kings, that's exactly how they did behave, but it isn't the whole story and many Kings were worshipped for centuries after their deaths as 'good Kings' who benefitted the land.

Having got my grumble about the book off my chest, it is an excelllent introduction to the history of the Two Lands, from the end of the Predynastic to the coming of the Romans and it is very easy to read. It is well illustrated and the end-notes give good references to other books for those of us who want to know more, and, best of all, it does give a timeline version of events so that we can read about which King followed which and how their reigns differed.

Originally, I only gave it 3 stars, but that was because I disagreed with some of Dr Wilkinson's conclusions - and that was unjust. It does deserve 4 stars, for the clarity of the writing and the general presentation.
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By G. Robinson VINE VOICE on 10 Jan. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're looking for an easy to read history of Ancient Egypt that is not a dusty academic tome or a sexed up soap opera then look no further.

Covering some 3000 years through to Cleopatra, Toby Wilkinson's very readable book is as entertaining as it is comprehensive. If you accept that it is personal but solid piece of popular history with all the shortcomings that these books do have, I'm sure you will enjoy it. The writers view that the Pharaohs were little more than tyrants is a perfectly acceptable one considering the huge amounts of manpower demanded by force to fulfil his/her desires. Egypt was not a democracy, it was a self perpetuating autocracy and therefore a dictatorship by default. The masses in such systems are little more than a resource to be used and dictators usually get what they want one way or another, always backed up by military force. There are those who have an opposite view and they are as entitled to theirs as the writer is to his

You're not going to become an expert reading this book but you will become informed enough to decide if you want to read or perhaps study further.

I enjoyed it very much.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a truly amazing read.
The author doesn't like the political and economic system of ancient Egypt. The Pharaoes suffered from megalomania, and they suppressed and exploited there population. This we are told at every other page, ad nauseam. It is not surprising, that the rulers of the past do not live up to the standards of today, but it is strangely anacronistic to be told this throughout the book.
Who cares about Wilkinson's moral judgment, except himself?
Worse, after having found out that Ancient Egypt was bad, he loses interest. There are a thousand fascinatiing questions which could have been raised, e.g. the intricate problems of chronology and the question what we know for certain and what are merely educated guesses. But nothing in the book about this. Nor about hieroglyphs. And very little about the economic system (market versus planeconomy, how did they manage without money?). We are told about the system of granarie, but mainly when this system breakes dow And of course: The rulers did not establish the granaries for the benefit of the people, but because they themselves had an interest in it!
There is also very little about everyday life, that is apparantly precluded by the authors vendetta - after so many thousand of years! - against the rulers.
The main problem with moral history is that it makes the author not curious in his subject. Amazing that such a thrilling subject can be made boring.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in the long history of the phaorohs in Egypt and the culture of this fascinating land, this is a wonderful coverage and the detail and colour photos are stunning. It is a long book and can be confusing at times and there are some slow chapters but all told it is written for the non-academic and an enjoyable read
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