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The good kings : absolute power in Ancient Egypt and the modern world / Kara Cooney.

Cooney, Kara, (author.).

Available copies

  • 1 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Crookston Public Library 932 COO (Text) 33500013500558 New Available -
Detroit Lakes Public Library 932 COO (Text) 33500013500566 New Checked out 12/24/2021

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781426221965
  • ISBN: 1426221967
  • Physical Description: [400] pages ; 23 cm
  • Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : National Geographic Society, [2021]

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
"Written in the tradition of historians like Stacy Schiff and Amanda Foreman who find modern lessons in ancient history, this provocative narrative explores the lives of five remarkable pharaohs who ruled Egypt with absolute power, shining a new light on the country's 3,000-year empire and its meaning today. In a new era when democracies around the world are threatened or crumbling, best-selling author Kara Cooney turns to five ancient Egyptian pharaohs -- Khufu, Senwosret III, Akenhaten, Ramses II, and Taharqa -- to understand why many so often give up power to the few, and what it can mean for our future. As the first centralized political power on earth, the pharaohs and their process of divine kingship can tell us a lot about the world's politics, past and present. Every animal-headed god, every monumental temple, every pyramid, every tomb, offers extraordinary insight into a culture that combined deeply held religious beliefs with uniquely human schemes to justify a system in which one ruled over many. From Khufu, the man who built the Great Pyramid at Giza as testament to his authoritarian reign, and Taharqa, the last true pharaoh who worked to make Egypt great again, we discover a clear lens into understanding how power was earned, controlled, and manipulated in ancient times. And in mining the past, Cooney uncovers the reason why societies have so willingly chosen a dictator over democracy, time and time again." -- Provided by publisher.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2021 November #1
    Cooney (When Women Ruled the World, 2018) identifies herself as a "recovering Egyptologist." Here she explores the world of the pharaohs and draws out of their ancient politics and social structure some lessons for the modern world. Deftly describing how Egyptians built monuments that have endured for millennia, Cooney holds that these structures, magnificent as they seem, actually reflect the insecurity of the pharaohs who ordered them to be built, hoping to so impress and cow any rivals that their thrones and their dynasties might rest secure. The pharaohs' authority derived from their creation of a "mortuary industrial complex" that demanded skilled artisans and thus empowered elites to the eventual detriment of the monarch. Dispensing with the pyramid-constructing pharaohs, Cooney cites the Theban Senwosret III for his appointment of loyalist and relatives to cement his power, but whose dynasty quickly dissolved. Cooney's feminist critique of Egypt's heritage offers instructive perspective, and she does not hesitate to draw parallels to today's leaders' impulses toward authoritarianism and autocracy. Color photographs illustrate the text. Includes bibliographic notes. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

KARA COONEY is Professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA and chair of its Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Her academic work focuses on death preparations, social competition, and gender studies. She appeared as a lead expert in the popular Discovery Channel special "The Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen" and produced and wrote Discovery's Out of Egypt. The author of When Women Ruled the World (2018) and The Woman Who Would be King (2014), Cooney lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Subject: Pharaohs > Biography.
Egypt > Civilization > To 332 B.C.
Genre: Biographies.

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