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Publisher's Summary

In this landmark work, one of the world's most renowned Egyptologists tells the epic story of this great civilization, from its birth as the first nation-state to its final absorption into the Roman Empire - 3,000 years of wild drama, bold spectacle, and unforgettable characters.

Award-winning scholar Toby Wilkinson captures not only the lavish pomp and artistic grandeur of this land of pyramids and pharaohs but for the first time reveals the constant propaganda and repression that were its foundations. Drawing upon 40 years of archaeological research, Wilkinson takes us inside an exotic tribal society with a pre-monetary economy and decadent, divine kings who ruled with all-too-recognizable human emotions.

Riveting and revelatory, filled with new information and unique interpretations, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt will become the standard source about this great civilization, one that lasted - so far - longer than any other.

©2010 Toby Wilkinson (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This is a penetrating and authoritative overview of a violent ancient civilization often revered by contemporary scholars and enthusiasts." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well Written and Detailed

Any additional comments?

This is not a book for a listener who has only a passing interest in history. There is a lot of detail, everything from the motivations of the upper classes to the everyday struggles of the peasantry, and you'll hear about the lives and deeds of many Pharaohs over a period of 3000 years. Now, if you're still interested after reading that, let me say that I think the book strikes a good balance between depth and scope for a pure history book. The author stays on task and doesn't get too caught up in minutiae, just enough to give the reader a good description of the character of each period. There are good descriptions and explanations of every Pharaoh from Narmer to Cleopatra and the cultural landscape and evolution of Egypt is well represented. The narrator does a good job and kept me interested, although I think there were a few things that were mispronounced. That said, a book like this has many, many challenging names for an English speaker to pronounce so I don't fault him much for it. Overall, I enjoyed taking a fairly deep dive into the history of Egypt and it left me wanting more, especially with regards to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods which were, understandably, not really the focus of this book.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Really hard to follow on Audio

I have listened to 300ish+ books and I just found this book really hard to follow. It just didn’t seem to flow well from topic to topic.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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More than you ever wanted to know...

Is there anything you would change about this book?

More than you ever wanted to know about Egyptian archaeology. I bought this expecting a sweeping review of Egyptian history, but the bulk of the work was a detailed description of the pyramids, palaces, necropolises, etc.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely superb!

Very very well done. More history books should be done like this one. The narrator was perfect for the material. A real pleasure to listen too!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

You need to be seriously into ancient Egypt to make this book worth it.

The book is way to dry for anyone with a casual interest in ancient Egypt.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

pretty good overview of ancient Egypt.

its not to in depth and the timelines wander a bit. im not sure if there are better books on the subject being that this is my first

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Fred
  • Crystal Lake, Illinois United States
  • 05-19-18

Entertaining and educational

This is a very good attempt to do the impossible, cover such a vast subject in readable length. The author writes with personality, authority and clarity. He does fill gaps in our knowledge with his imagination and he views the subject with the bias of a late twentieth century, anglocentric, politically liberal academic (I realize the last two are redundant). Some find this annoying. I find it entertaining. If you don’t know much about the subject, you will be well informed and the subject will come alive for you. If you are well read on the subject, you should benefit from one expert’s informed perspective even (or especially) if you disagree with his embellishments and his hypothesizing.

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covers everything.. hard for beginners but...

..worth it if you are trying to get an overall view. I admit some info was so new and there was so much I had to listen to chapters more then once but it was good. he didn't linger on more well known parts/kings. so I think a more comprehensive book for parts I wanna know more about or learned I'm interested in by listening to book . it's worth it if your ready dive into Egyptian history

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Does what is intended

Surprisingly listenable for what it was intended to do, provide an overview of Egypt founding to end of the pharaonic ages.

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Interesting things about early Egyptians

Narration: little stilted, little sing song, but otherwise good.

Content: fascinating stuff

Conclusion: recommended

1 of 3 people found this review helpful