Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Napoleon's Egypt (Book #1)

This may be the longest it's ever taken me to read my first book of the new year. It's early days, but I'm not exactly on pace for my annual goal of at least 100 books! I started two books that I abandoned around the halfway mark, and I've even been losing reading time to soggy weather. At least half my reading time is during my commute, and when it rains, I can read on the bus, but not so much while I'm standing at the bus stop. And the past few weeks have been unusually rainy even for Seattle, so...

I've just now finished Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Juan Cole, 2007). I got it from the library for research for my alternate history. While I was hoping for a little more about Napoleon specifically (the book is more Napoleon's EGYPT than NAPOLEON'S Egypt) it proved useful, and I'm much better informed on Egypt and its place within the Ottoman Empire than I was before. And, I did pick up some useful facts and intriguing incidents.

Incidentally, this is another book where the author uses the past to illuminate the present. It's not heavyhanded, but the parallels to the American invasion of Iraq are definitely there.

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