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Publisher's Summary

In this vivid history, master storyteller and world-renowned historian Juan Cole tells the story of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798. Revealing Napoleon's reasons for leading the expedition against Egypt and showcasing the young general's fascinating views of the Orient, Cole delves into the psychology of both the military titan and his entourage. He paints a multifaceted portrait of the daily travails of the soldiers in Napoleon's army, including how they imagined Egypt, how their expectations differed from what they found, and how they grappled with military challenges in a foreign land. Cole explains how Napoleon's invasion, the first modern attempt to conquer the Arab world, invented and crystallized the rhetoric of liberal imperialism.
©2007 Juan Cole (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[A]n engaging and provocative book." ( Library Journal)
"[A] well-researched contribution to Middle Eastern history." ( Publishers Weekly)

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    3 out of 5 stars

Couldn't finish

I love Napoleonic History but just could not drag myself through this book. It gets terribly repetitive and what is immesurably worse, lets its agenda totally obscure its point. Frankly the author sooo wants to draw an infinity of parellels between the current situation in Iraq and Napoleon's invasion of Egypt. The problem is that the analogies are either forced or come across as a blinding flash of the obvious. A "timely" book should not need to call attention to the obvious parallels to modern times. To do so is similar to having to explain the punchline of a joke. Either the joke is not funny and thus needs the explaination or the explaination is not necessary. Finally, it is hard to trust a historian so transparently out to make a point.

The narative style was not good enough to save the book either.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful