Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt #2020

Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt By Nina Burleigh Mirage Napoleon s Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt Little than two hundred years ago only the most reckless or eccentric Europeans had dared traverse the unmapped territory of the modern day Middle East Its history and peoples were the subject of muc
  • Title: Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt
  • Author: Nina Burleigh
  • ISBN: 9780060597672
  • Page: 114
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt By Nina Burleigh Little than two hundred years ago, only the most reckless or eccentric Europeans had dared traverse the unmapped territory of the modern day Middle East Its history and peoples were the subject of much myth and speculation and no region aroused greater interest than Egypt, where reports of mysterious monuments, inscrutable hieroglyphics, rare silks and spices, and ruLittle than two hundred years ago, only the most reckless or eccentric Europeans had dared traverse the unmapped territory of the modern day Middle East Its history and peoples were the subject of much myth and speculation and no region aroused greater interest than Egypt, where reports of mysterious monuments, inscrutable hieroglyphics, rare silks and spices, and rumors of lost magical knowledge tantalized dreamers and taunted the power hungry.It was not until 1798, when an unlikely band of scientific explorers traveled from Paris to the Nile Valley, that Westerners received their first real glimpse of what lay beyond the Mediterranean Sea.Under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Army, a small and little known corps of Paris s brightest intellectual lights left the safety of their laboratories, studios, and classrooms to embark on a thirty day crossing into the unknown some never to see French shores again Over 150 astronomers, mathematicians, naturalists, physicists, doctors, chemists, engineers, botanists, artists even a poet and a musicologist accompanied Napoleon s troops into Egypt Carrying pencils instead of swords, specimen jars instead of field guns, these highly accomplished men participated in the first large scale interaction between Europeans and Muslims of the modern era And many lived to tell the tale.Hazarding hunger, hardship, uncertainty, and disease, Napoleon s scientists risked their lives in pursuit of discovery They approached the land not as colonizers, but as experts in their fields of scholarship, meticulously categorizing and collecting their finds from the ruins of the colossal pyramids to the smallest insects to the legendary Rosetta Stone.Those who survived the three year expedition compiled an exhaustive encyclopedia of Egypt, twenty three volumes in length, which secured their place in history as the world s earliest known archaeologists Unraveling the mysteries that had befuddled Europeans for centuries, Napoleon s scientists were the first to document the astonishing accomplishments of a lost civilization before the dark shadow of empire building took Africa and the Middle East by storm.Internationally acclaimed journalist Nina Burleigh brings readers back to a little known landmark adventure at the dawn of the modern era one that ultimately revealed the deepest secrets of ancient Egypt to a very curious continent.
    Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt By Nina Burleigh
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      Nina Burleigh

    About "Nina Burleigh"

    1. Nina Burleigh

      Nina is an award winning author and journalist She has written four books and has been published in the New Yorker, Time, New York and People, among many other journals and rags She has occasionally shellacked her hair for television, including Good Morning America, Nightline, and various programs on CNN and C Span, as well as flogged books on NPR and countless radio outlets.The daughter of author and artist Robert Burleigh and Berta Burleigh, a teacher who emigrated to the USA from Iraq in the 1950s, Nina was born and educated in the Midwest, has traveled extensively in the Middle East and lived in Italy and France She covered the Clinton White House for Time and reported and wrote human interest stories at People Magazine from New York She is an adjunct professor at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and occasionally vents on the Huffington Post.Nina has lectured around the United States and in Mexico on writing and books, including her most recent, Unholy Business, a true tale of how modern science is being used to support the curious world of biblical relic trade and forgery Her book, Mirage, published in 2008 by Harper Collins, was selected by the New York Times as an editors choice and won the Society of Women Educators Award in 2008.

    133 thoughts on “Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt”

    1. In 1798, the young French Republic is at war with just about everyone in Europe who doesn t want the French brand of revolution to spread The nation needs a victory somewhere and Napoleon, never one to pass up an opportunity, decides to take the French Army to Egypt to secure a base by which grow an empire.In addition to ships and men to mount this expedition, Napoleon takes a group of 150 scientists along to document this strange land that belongs to no European power and has little factual doc [...]

    2. Napoleon s core of scientific adventurers in Egypt is arguably the greatest singular event to straddle those two reductive Ages of European history ie the Enlightenment and the Romantic It is also a complete disaster What a ride Of course, Mirage is great as an audiobook for road trips b c the actor takes relish with all those French names I mean relish in the most literal sense.With a few tweaks, Mirage would also serve well as a turn based strategy game I m thinking Risk meets Oregon Trail of [...]

    3. The stories recounted in this book are fascinating and it s sobering to realize how readily men s lives were thrown away because of Napoleon s delusions I found the author s style sensationalist at times She was also occasionally incorrect with small details As an art historian, the one that leapt out to me was her discussion of a famous painting of Napoleon at Jaffa as by Jacques Louis David, The painting in question is by Baron Gros If such an obvious art historical error was made, what errors [...]

    4. An interesting but poorly organized account of Napoleon s ill conceived invasion of Egypt While the subject matter was interesting and the prose engaging, the author frequently repeated herself, and many tidbits of information were repeated almost verbatim in several chapters There was an attempt, I think, to find a satisfying middle ground between a chronological account of the invasion and a biographical account for each of the scientists involved Regardless of organization, I learned a lot ab [...]

    5. At the end of the 18th century France, eager to establish itself as a colonial power on a par with its neighbor and rival, England, sent General and celebrity Napoleon at the head of an army to Egypt to secure the land At the time Egypt was a legendary place Like any territory hovering at the edge of reason all sorts of mythical attributes were assigned to it Hieroglyphics were than words, they were magical writing.Along with the army, a select force of the best french students, scientists, and [...]

    6. I found this to be a great introduction into the scientific and political climate of the time period I had no real knowledge of what Egypt was like at this time, so I was particularly interested in how the people lived, and how the soldiers and scientists adjusted, not just what finds and developments they were making I would definitely recommend as a supplement to a history or archeology class.

    7. Despite what I do for a living, I get easily bored with history books Not this one A great cast of characters and a great setting It answered one of my biggest questions as a tourist to the British Museum how did the Rosetta Stone end up in England if Napoleon discovered it As for Napoleon, he comes off looking worse than expected, his Egyptian expedition a bigger disaster than I d imagined.

    8. I wanted to like this book than I did It s filled with colorful characters adrift in unfamiliar surroundings, forced to improvise, explore, and keep from turning on each other Juicy anecdotes abound, and the writing is smooth and engaging The narrative moves along efficiently, balancing portraits of individual scientists with a broader account of the French expedition to Egypt In the end, though, the details never seemed to fully cohere into an argument for the significance of the French schola [...]

    9. Very disappointing This book is about the scientists and scholars that accompanied Napoleon in his quest to invade Egypt in 1798, not about the invasion itself.Sadly, the author has a typical orientalist view of the French invasion, or expedition , to Egypt According to her, the French, regardless of all their crimes and brutality that they have committed in Egypt, are civilized and enlightened because they had fancy French names, and eat baguettes and croissants While the Arabs who were generou [...]

    10. The title, mirage, is experienced, but not scientifically explained for the reader Scientific lists finish the book, again, without the explanations so wanted To summarize Napolean brought his troups and savantes to Egypt at the end of the 1700s, he himself a wannabe scientist Only one out of nine people soldiers savantes survived The savantes did the most work, but the best invention is the metronome However the 40 volume book they published in serial form in the early 1800s showed great biolog [...]

    11. A book about the time the French were in Egypt and the scientists that went along with the army Interesting bio s on engineers, inventors, historians and Wrapped in is the individual stories of how they survived the French Revolution, dealt with poor logistical planning by Napolean and life in Cairo at the turn if the 19th century This was a time when the ancient Pyramids were new, the Sphinx still half way covered by sand and no one knew what to make of the monuments in Luxor.

    12. Nina Burleigh, AM 87AuthorFrom the author In 1798, than 150 scientists, engineers, artists and doctors traveled to the Nile Valley with Napooleon s army Hazarding disease and war, his corps des savants risked their lives in pursuit of discovery , found and preserved the Rosetta Stone, and became the world s first archaeologists Theirs was also the first large scale interaction between Europeans and Muslims in the modern era.

    13. An interesting history focusing on the little known Egyptian campaign of Napoleon s war A little bit less focus on the campaign than I would have preferred, but a large focus on the para scientific and scholarly expedition that accompanied the French Army of 36,000 to Egypt It could have used a bit background on the scholar s accomplishments before the expedition, but even so, without this book I would have had no idea that Fourier accompanied Napoleon to the desert for three years.

    14. Again I am reminded of why I fell for French civilization shortly after starting French 1 in high school back in 1970 the French are so un English They may have done a lot of bad Napoleon is not really much better than Hitler in many aspects , but their desire to bring their civilization to others while studying and preserving the local civilization is commendable for a colonial power, I suppose The text is poorly written, but it is written with enthusiasm, which excuses some things.

    15. This was a very interesting and informative book on the excursion by the French to Egypt, detailing the various personalities involved and the different sciences represtented to try to unearth the mysteries of Egypt which led to the great Egyptomania craze of the 1800s in Europe I was a bit disappointed that of the actual discoveries weren t detailed, but seeing as how this was a book about the scientists themselves, that was acceptable.

    16. Napoleon rounds up brilliant men and strands them in Egypt They settle in abandoned Mameluke mansions Good story, great details about the setting Not too much science for this non scientist Good other details about Mr Conte, inventor of Conte crayons and others you might NEED to know about.

    17. A great introduction to the French occupation of Egypt, I just wish Burleigh had gone in depth In the end the sum feels very shallow, like she just barely scraped the surface My interest was very much captured wish there was .

    18. I listened to this book on audio tape, and for the most part it was interesting The scientist the author discusses are pretty different, so I think anyone who read the book would find some very interesting and others pretty boring I learned a lot about Egypt at the time and also Napoleon It was interesting to see how the scientists went about their work The author seemed to be particularly anti Napoleon that felt biased When he returned to France, that author continuously would describe his acti [...]

    19. I enjoyed this book You suffer along with the scientists as they uncover the mysteries of Egypt and their triumphs and tragedies become yours Although I m happy I can take a quick ride on the tube to see the Rosetta stone whenever I want, it s hard not to feel a little frustrated when the British steal it away After all the French went through you can t help but hope they ll come away from this mission with something memorable It s well worth a read if you love history, archaeology, and science [...]

    20. At times this reads like an adventure, at other times it reads like a civics lesson In 1798 Napoleon takes fifty thousand soldiers and one hundred scientists on an unknown trip which turns out to take over Egypt Unfortunately, the English take out his ships, they are met by disinterested locals, and the place is dirty Poverty and terrible bugs as well a hot weather are all their enemies Insight into 1800 s Egypt culture B W images.

    21. 2013 08 Mirage Napoleon s Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt Unabridged Audible Audio Edition Nina Burleigh Author , Cassandra Campbell Narrator 2007 304 Pages It gives you a very different view of Napoleon In this he is a bid idea guy but horrid on the details and support functions a true glory monster The science, anthropology and other studies done by the French though are interesting and still affect us today An intriguing look into past methods of operations.

    22. An interesting read on how the west first explored Egypt.Shows that the West s problems with Islam are not a strictly modern problem , but a culture clash that has gone on for centuries It also puts into perspective how archaeology developed into the science we know today.

    23. If I had never heard of Napoleon before I would think him as cowardly, cruel and incompetent He must have performed better in Europe The scientists are the heroes of the campaign and they have interesting stories.

    24. This book really, was wonderful I ve spent the last week reading it and I m really glad that I did Like I said, I think, back when I finished The Guns of August, I don t really know a whole lot about history and haven t read a ton of history books, but personally, I absolutely loved this book.There was an awful, awful lot to it that made it worth reading Learning about the different scientists that Napoleon brought with him to Egypt was really something.Learning about all of the incredible and o [...]

    25. Mirage is an excellent book It tells the story of the Napoleon s ill fated expedition to Egypt in 1798, focusing on the 150 savants scientists, engineers, artists, and doctors that accompanied Napoleon and the French Army The expedition started poorly with Nelson British Navy destroying the French fleet, essentially leaving the army marooned in Egypt The French later had to fend for themselves after Napoleon abandoned his army and escaped back to France Through this turmoil, the savants worked t [...]

    26. I love Napoleon and this book is an excellent addition to what I ve already read His Egyptian campaign was as much a farce as it was an expedition, but what an undertaking.Bonaparte involves two dissimilar factions the French Soldiery and many French scientists in a woefully under resourced romp across an absolutely unfamiliar country Soldiers dying of thirst drink greedily from wells that are full of tiny leaches which cling to the lining of their throats Plague sweeps through the ranks of Sold [...]

    27. A fairly unsanitized unromantic sketch of the French invasion of Egypt in 1798 Imperialism, and frankly wars invasion in general, are gross barbaric ugly affairs Contrasted the military march against the backdrop of almost manic scientific fervor, and the clashes between civilian and military.Very readable and because it takes a fairly wide sweeping overview of many of the principle scientists involved in the invasion, I think it might be a good place to start if you plan to do deeper reading on [...]

    28. Nina Burleigh portrays Napoleon blundering into Egypt with a group of scientists and his military in tow If it wasn t so sad, it is quite ridiculous to imagine these men trudging through the desert without water and dressed in heavy woolen uniforms Only a mad man would consider such a thing, which I guess Napoleon was He wasn t a details man No micromanagement there Luckily his scientists did their own thing and actually contributed to scientific and cultural knowledge of Egypt.I found this book [...]

    29. Nina Burleigh s, Mirage Napoleon s Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt HarperCollins, 2007 is a historical non fiction book about Napoleon s occupation of Egypt That campaign in 1798 is among history s memorable military fiascos Napoleon himself beat a retreat back to France after just a year, but his troops remained as uneasy and unwilling occupiers in an exploratory expedition gone wrong, a situation that we are told by the historian Juan Cole in an article in The Nation, that is parallel w [...]

    30. Audiobook An entertaining account of Napoleon s campaign in Egypt and the scholars who went with him to record for posterity what they found The account focuses on a handful of scholars, many of who were particular friends of Napoleon, to paint the broad back drop of the campaign its rigors, terrors and accomplishments Quite good, although I would recommend the print version to the audiobook since there are many things people may want to refer back to as the account unfolds I was particularly fa [...]

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