This is not the Middle East of the early 21st century. It is Africa in the late 19th century, when the river Nile became the setting for an extraordinary collision between Europeans, Arabs, and Africans. A human and religious drama, the conflict defined the modern relationship between the West and the Islamic world. The story is not only essential for understanding the modern clash of civilizations but is also a gripping, epic, tragic adventure.
Three Empires on the Nile tells of the rise of the first modern Islamic state and its fateful encounter with the British Empire of Queen Victoria. Ever since the self-proclaimed Islamic messiah known as the Mahdi gathered an army in the Sudan and besieged and captured Khartoum under its British overlord Charles Gordon, the dream of a new caliphate has haunted modern Islamists. Today, Shiite insurgents call themselves the Mahdi Army, and Sudan remains one of the great battle lines between Muslims and Christians, blacks and Arabs. The 19th-century origins of it all were even more dramatic and strange than today's headlines.
In the hands of Dominic Green, the story of the Nile's three empires is an epic in the tradition of Kipling, the bard of empire, and Winston Churchill, who fought in the final destruction of the Mahdi's army. It is a sweeping and very modern tale of God and globalization, slavers and strategists, missionaries and messianists.
©2007 Dominic Green; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"Green...has written a formidable work....He succeeds in not only untangling the complex politics of the Great Powers as they reacted to the crisis along the Nile but also explaining the equally opaque motivations of the shadowy Mahdi and his followers as they pursued their jihad." (Publishers Weekly)
"Green achieves a vividly popular account of Britain's ascendance in Egypt and Sudan." (Booklist)
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