Al-Qahira: Her Arab conquerors called her "the Victorious", and over the course of her 5,000-year history Cairo has richly merited the name. The seat of pharaohs and sultans, the prize of conquerors from Alexander the Great to Saladin to Napoleon, Cairo has never ceased reinventing herself.
Max Rodenbeck, a noted journalist who has spent much of his life in Cairo, provides a dazzling cultural excavation of this most ancient and multifaceted of cities -- from its Pharaonic beginnings to its heyday as the most glittering metropolis of the Middle Ages, from its subjugation by the Turks and British to its emergence as the modern capital of Arab nationalism. Whether he is exploring a belly-dance theater or a medieval mosque, a hashish den or a dusty bazaar, Rodenbeck brings Cairo to life in all its chaotic beauty. A remarkable fusion of travel and history, Cairo: The City Victorious is an epic, resonant work.