"[Cole] has mined a number of rich, recently discovered memoirs and letters to bring the personal aspect of these encounters vividly to life."--"The Nation""" "[A] well-researched contribution to Middle Eastern history."--"Publisher's Weekly""" "Cole has produced an engaging and provocative book."--Richard Fraser, "Library Journal""" "Cole's sources allow for a well-rounded accounting of events."--"The Columbus Dispatch""" "Historian Cole, effectively utilizing diaries and letters of contemporaries on both sides, illustrates the confusion, hostilities, and necessary accommodations as two distinct cultures collide."--Jay Freeman, "Booklist""" "The book itself contains a lively account of the first eight months of France's invasion of Egypt in the summer 1798 followed by a bloody attempt to occupy and then to hold the country by the use of armed force. Unlike almost every previous work which highlights the presence of numerous French scientists and archaeologists among the members of what is usually presented as a civilizing mission, the aim of this work is to present the occupation as a series of vicious military encounters, of battles, skirmishes and ambushes, between the French and a population which they could not understand the members of which they could not correctly identify...It is to Cole's great credit that he does not force the parallels too far. But the shadow of contemporary Iraq is never far away." - Roger Owen, Dar Al-Hayat"" "As the bibliography of the disaster known as the Bush administration grows, a useful early distinction will be chronicle versus analysis and context. Cole, a thoughtful and imaginative scholar, offers the latter with his account of an earlier, disastrous attempt to interfere with the Arab world." -- Robert Birnbaum, the Morning News "" "A timely and entertaining look at a previous Middle Eastern misadventure by one of America's most provocative and informed scholars."--Lawrence Wright, author of the Pulitzer Award-winning "The Lo
In this vivid and timely history, Juan Cole tells the story of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt. Revealing the young general's reasons for leading the expedition against Egypt in 1798 and showcasing his fascinating views of the Orient, Cole delves into the psychology of the military titan and his entourage. He paints a multi-faceted 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 ultimately reveals how Napoleon's invasion, the first modern attempt to invade the Arab world, invented and crystallized the rhetoric of liberal imperialism.
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