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Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 9. Dezember 2008

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“With an easy style and an eye for striking detail, Burleigh concentrates on 151 French scientists, scholars and students who joined the expedition, tempted by hero worship of Napoleon and the prospect of scientific adventure.” (Associated Press)

“Burleigh spotlights the Indiana Jones-esque scientists who joined Napoleon’s Egyptian invasion during the late 18th century.” (People)

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Nina Burleigh is the author of four books. She is a noted journalist whose articles have appeared in Time, the Washington Post, New York magazine, Elle, and many other publications. She lives in New York City.

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26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An Excellent Account of an Important Campaign 27. Februar 2008
Von G. Poirier - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Many people have read about Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and of the many scientists and engineers who accompanied him. However, many history books usually allot but a few pages perhaps to this important event, which led, among other things, to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. The author of this book has done an excellent job of focusing entirely on Napoleon's Egyptian campaign with particular emphasis on the many "savants" who were charged with studying and documenting this ancient land. The many hardships that they endured are vividly described, as are their relationships with the French military and the local inhabitants. The author's writing style is accessible, friendly, authoritative and most engaging, making this a work that is difficult to put down. This account indeed forms an excellent link between the decaying ruins of an ancient civilization and the birth of modern Egyptology. This is a book that can be enjoyed by everyone, but history buffs, particularly those with a fascination for Egypt, will likely relish it the most.
20 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Important historical event recounted in a terrific style 4. März 2008
Von Stuart Speckman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a terrific book. I highly recommend it to almost anyone. All you need is an interest in history or science or adventure or foreign affairs or botany or ancient Egypt. On many levels, this book is fun and informative. And it's all true. For flavor, it's like Indiana Jones meets Albert Einstein meets James Audubon. It's hard to put down.

The story concerns Napoleon's foray into Egypt in 1799. Ostensibly it was to expand scientific knowledge of this ancient and mysterious land. In reality, it was the start of the anticipated conquest and annexation of Egypt. As the British did with India (i.e., creating a far-east outpost), the French were hoping to do with Egypt. But things did not go exactly as planned.

In other books on the subject, the focus is on the military aspect of the expedition. About 50,000 soldiers and sailors accompanied Napoleon. In Mirage, the author (Nina Burleigh) focuses on the 151 scientists (or savants) who also accompanied him. Here, the savants are the "heroes." We learn of their trials, tribulations, and successes.

Each chapter concerns a different savant and their respective expertise: botany, math, medicine, engineering, art, etc. Through the eyes of learned gents, we learn about Egypt, the parochial views of 19th century Europe, and the folly of imperialism. It's a terrific perspective that is told in an easily accessible style.

Burleigh keeps up the suspense. She covers many academic fields but does not overwhelm a reader. It's a fun read and you can't help but learn. For example, she describes the savants' discoveries while stuck in desert sands. She puts discoveries in the context of the time and shows how some still apply, like Fourier's math work.

The only knock on the book, and it is minor, is that it lacks a map of the region. Readers should print one before starting the book.
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Curious minds in a strange land 23. Januar 2008
Von Stephanie Slewka - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Nina Burleigh paints a vivid picture of the curious minds of the scientists who accompanied Napoleon to Egypt, a land beyond their imagination.

The scientists' desire to understand what they were seeing and to map, catalogue, paint--and in some ways, dominate--this exotic place feels real. Though the cast of characters is large, and occasionally unwieldy, the book draws fine portraits of individuals, many of whom are worthy of their own biographies. And Mirage projects a sense of excitement about learning that is contagious.
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Mirage: Napoleon's scientists and the start of our troubles 15. Januar 2008
Von J. Simon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Nina Burleigh's book, Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt, is a great discovery on the earliest era of western ambition in the middle east. The history is told in the style of a vivid, 'you are there' narrative that is very accessible. The inspiration of the book is in chronicling this marriage of science and empire in the throes of a disasterous military campaign, where the best, brightest and youngest from the academies jump at the chance to join Napoleon's army to destinations unknown. Even when their own army was in complete disarray, these first archaeologists, botanists, engineers and inventors kept drawing and collecting, and Burleigh does an excellent job at making that incredible history live again. These individuals who produced the encyclopedias, the animal studies, the engineering plans and the first accurate images of Egypt, with its pyramids and sphinx and the Nile, are the center of Burliegh's book. Many are by now familiar with how the current disaster echoes those chronicled by T.E. Lawrence or the Russian campaign in Afganastan, but who knew of Napoleon's own will to march into the desert against all logic, and of how the legacy created there was not military or geo-politcal but scientific?
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Opening Egypt 3. Juli 2008
Von Readerbuff - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Ms. Burleigh's Mirage is an excellent account of the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon's army, and the French intellectual Savants that accompanied the military on this ill-conceived and failed military expedition. The accounts of the physical trials, successes, and failures of the Savants is profoundly interesting.

Ms. Burleigh's depth of research on the subject was very good. She provides many detailed accounts and examples, taken from first hand journals, that provide the reader with first-hand accounts of a very trying period in French and Egyptian history.

For those interested in this period of colonial French history; interested in the Egyptian art, architecture and culture; and the practical application of 18th century science to the infancy of archaeology, this is a must read for you.
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