A History of Egypt: From Earliest Times to the Present

Front Cover
American Univ in Cairo Press, 2008 - History - 382 pages
3 Reviews
No country's past can match Egypt's in antiquity, richness, and variety. Rarely, however, is this nation's history presented as a comprehensive panorama, since scholars tend to divide it into distinct eras-pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic, medieval Islamic, Ottoman, and modern-that are rarely studied in connection to each other, despite the strong elements of continuity running through all of these periods. But here, historian Jason Thompson has written a cohesive account of Egypt's millennia-long past.In A History of Egypt, readers are offered a sure guide through the sometimes labyrinthine corridors of Egypt's past, from the mysterious predynastic kingdoms to the post-modern nation-state of the twenty-first century. The author addresses central scholarly issues such as how Egyptian history can be treated as a whole and how the west has shaped prevailing images of it, both through direct contact and through the lens of western scholarship. Drawing on current historical scholarship as well his own research, Jason Thompson has written a remarkable work of synthesis and concision, offering students, travelers, and general readers alike an engaging one-volume narrative of the extraordinarily long course of human history by the Nile.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - UberButter - LibraryThing

A History of Egypt: From Earliest Times to the Present by Jason Thompson ★★★ I think this title is pretty self explanatory. It’s the history…of Egypt…5,000 years of it…in 380 pages. So it is a ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

A very interesting book covering, as it says, from earliest Egypt to the present. Sadly was published before the Arab Spring, and an update covering that movement would have been most interesting. Provides a somewhat cursory but still a good "highlights reel" of most of Egyptian history, with considerably more emphasis on more recent events (19th century and onwards). The greatest focus and volume of text is on pharaonic Egypt and modern history, which is quite understandable since they provide the greatest duration and most detailed information respectively for the country's history. Considering it manages to cover 5,000 years of history in less than 400 pages, really a remarkable success. 


The Old Kingdom
The First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom
The Second Intermediate Period and the New Kingdom
The Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period
Ptolemaic Egypt
Egypt in the Roman Empire
Coptic Egypt
The Mamluks
Egypt in the Ottoman Empire
The British Occupation of Egypt
Mubarak and Beyond

The Advent of Islam

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

JASON THOMPSON is the author of Sir Gardiner Wilkinson and His Circle and the editor of Edward William Lanes Description of Egypt (AUC Press, 2000) and An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (AUC Press, 2003).

Bibliographic information