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Publisher's Summary

In this landmark work, one of the world's most renowned Egyptologists tells the epic story of this great civilization, from its birth as the first nation-state to its final absorption into the Roman Empire - 3,000 years of wild drama, bold spectacle, and unforgettable characters.

Award-winning scholar Toby Wilkinson captures not only the lavish pomp and artistic grandeur of this land of pyramids and pharaohs but for the first time reveals the constant propaganda and repression that were its foundations. Drawing upon 40 years of archaeological research, Wilkinson takes us inside an exotic tribal society with a pre-monetary economy and decadent, divine kings who ruled with all-too-recognizable human emotions.

Riveting and revelatory, filled with new information and unique interpretations, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt will become the standard source about this great civilization, one that lasted - so far - longer than any other.

©2010 Toby Wilkinson (P)2017 Tantor

What the critics say

"This is a penetrating and authoritative overview of a violent ancient civilization often revered by contemporary scholars and enthusiasts." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Really Enoyable

There is so much information in this book that I will have to listen to it several times to catch everything. Lovers of history will really enjoy this selection.
The narration wasn't rushed, and was clear and concise. His enthusiasm makes a long book such as this easy to listen to.

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  • Matthew G.
  • UT, USA
  • 2018-01-26

Well Written and Detailed

Any additional comments?

This is not a book for a listener who has only a passing interest in history. There is a lot of detail, everything from the motivations of the upper classes to the everyday struggles of the peasantry, and you'll hear about the lives and deeds of many Pharaohs over a period of 3000 years. Now, if you're still interested after reading that, let me say that I think the book strikes a good balance between depth and scope for a pure history book. The author stays on task and doesn't get too caught up in minutiae, just enough to give the reader a good description of the character of each period. There are good descriptions and explanations of every Pharaoh from Narmer to Cleopatra and the cultural landscape and evolution of Egypt is well represented. The narrator does a good job and kept me interested, although I think there were a few things that were mispronounced. That said, a book like this has many, many challenging names for an English speaker to pronounce so I don't fault him much for it. Overall, I enjoyed taking a fairly deep dive into the history of Egypt and it left me wanting more, especially with regards to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods which were, understandably, not really the focus of this book.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Howard Allen Cohen
  • 2018-06-20

Very comprehensive but the timeline could be better

It would have been helpful if the author had tied events in Egypt to events elsewhere that the reader could recognize so the timeline would be more understandable.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Wuan
  • 2018-03-27

Absolutely superb!

Very very well done. More history books should be done like this one. The narrator was perfect for the material. A real pleasure to listen too!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • R. Todaro
  • 2017-11-21

Really hard to follow on Audio

I have listened to 300ish+ books and I just found this book really hard to follow. It just didn’t seem to flow well from topic to topic.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel Morlan
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • 2019-05-06

Infornative, Concise, Rich in Details, but...

The history is told (it could be argued appropriately) from 21st century lens steeped in 21st century western values. Whether it is the reader or the narrator, the tone can get quite judgmental, and it may be good to approach the material lest we lose sight of the political structures necessary for the running of such a state. It is a well written, chronologically sound and ordered book well worth reading/listening to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-07-30

Fantastic Book! All-Around Wonderful

What more can I say than "wow"! This book has it all, from great coverage of all things Ancient Egypt to a great reading by the narrator, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in history or just looking to have fun learning!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tennent Houston
  • 2017-11-29

More than you ever wanted to know...

Is there anything you would change about this book?

More than you ever wanted to know about Egyptian archaeology. I bought this expecting a sweeping review of Egyptian history, but the bulk of the work was a detailed description of the pyramids, palaces, necropolises, etc.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Fred
  • Crystal Lake, Illinois United States
  • 2018-05-19

Entertaining and educational

This is a very good attempt to do the impossible, cover such a vast subject in readable length. The author writes with personality, authority and clarity. He does fill gaps in our knowledge with his imagination and he views the subject with the bias of a late twentieth century, anglocentric, politically liberal academic (I realize the last two are redundant). Some find this annoying. I find it entertaining. If you don’t know much about the subject, you will be well informed and the subject will come alive for you. If you are well read on the subject, you should benefit from one expert’s informed perspective even (or especially) if you disagree with his embellishments and his hypothesizing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AJC
  • NJ--United States
  • 2019-05-02

GREAT PRESENTATION OF THE HISTORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT

This Audible edition is fantastic. The history of Ancient Egypt, starting 5000 B.C through the death of Cleopatra in 30 B.C. Is covered in exquisite detail. All facets of this great culture are covered, beginnings, history, art, architecture, its character biographies, geography, military struggles, and its end. If all you think is important about Ancient Egypt is the pyramids, King Tut, and Cleopatra you need this book to fill in the other 99% of Ancient Egypt's story. Narration by Michael Page is excellent. He adds drama and even humor to draw the listener in to the book. Best Audible offering I've listened to thus far.

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  • L. Ford Ballard, Jr.
  • Las Cruces
  • 2019-04-12

Excellent one volume history

Exceptionally well written, well narrated, most recent research makes for compelling listening that makes 5,000 years of history very understandable and information.