Publication Date: 02/11/2023 ISBN: 9781529377583 Category:

Alexandria

Islam Issa

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 02/11/2023 ISBN: 9781529377583 Category:
Hardback

£30.00

Quantity:

Description

A SUNDAY TIMES AND TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT BOOK OF THE YEAR

‘Monumental and vividly imagined . . . a fitting tribute to a city that has survived, changed and grown for so many centuries’
Daily Telegraph

‘Wonderfully entertaining . . . written with vim and vigour’
Sunday Times

‘Lively and engrossing . . . Issa has brilliantly illuminated the history of a great city’
Literary Review

‘A cornucopia of fascinating details, every page revealing a new delight’
Paul Strathern, author of The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance

A city drawn in sand.

Inspired by the tales of Homer and his own ambitions of empire, Alexander the Great sketched the idea of a city onto the sparsely populated Egyptian coastline. He did not live to see Alexandria built, but his vision of a sparkling metropolis that celebrated learning and diversity was swiftly realised and still stands today.

Situated on the cusp of Africa, Europe and Asia, great civilisations met in Alexandria. Together, Greeks and Egyptians, Romans and Jews created a global knowledge capital of enormous influence: the inventive collaboration of its citizens shaped modern philosophy, science, religion and more. In pitched battles, later empires, from the Arabs and Ottomans to the French and British, laid claim to the city but its independent spirit endures.

In this sweeping biography of the great city, Islam Issa takes us on a journey across millennia, rich in big ideas, brutal tragedies and distinctive characters, from Cleopatra to Napoleon. From its humble origins to dizzy heights and present-day strife, Alexandria tells the gripping story of a city that has shaped our modern world.

‘A multifaceted history of an enthralling city’
Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, author of Persians: The Age of the Great Kings

Publisher Review

Islam Issa's Alexandria is a fabulous book, in every sense of that word. It is a history of the city, of its multitudinous people, of its heroes and villains, of its Library and its Pharos, down through the ages to his own family and his life growing up there. It is a cornucopia of fascinating details, every page revealing a new delight. A work of brilliant and informed scholarship, as well as being a labour of love. It is as if Islam Issa was born to write this book. -- Paul Strathern, author of The Medici Had things gone differently for Antony and Cleopatra, then today we would be lauding the glories of Alexandria instead of Rome. But Islam Issa refuses to see Alexandria as an also-ran and does a fine job in this book of guiding us through Alexandria's long, colourful, rarely peaceful, past. By evoking the splendours of its palaces, temples, libraries, churches, museums, synagogues, mosques, bazaars, dance halls and cafes, the book provides a multifaceted history of an enthralling city. -- Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, author of Persians: the Age of the Great Kings 'In Islam Issa's monumental and vividly imagined new tale of the city, Alexandria comes to life . . . Issa's Alexandria arrives at 2011's Arab Spring having covered more than two millennia in just over 400 pages - no mean feat. But his real success is the book's sense of personality. It ends with Issa walking through the modern city that now stands on the ancient site, passing its markets and Art Deco cinemas. He writes about the present as vividly as the storied past. This book is a fitting tribute to a city that has survived, changed and grown for so many centuries -- Francesca Peacock * Daily Telegraph *

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