An authoritative guide leads an illuminating journey into the distant past.



A noted Egyptologist follows the search for burial sites.

Former director of the Egypt Exploration Society and president of the International Association of Egyptologists, Naunton has presented his research in several TV documentaries, most recently King Tut’s Tomb: The Hidden Chamber (2016). He makes his book debut with an insightful, informative, and beautifully illustrated overview of archaeologists’ quests to find the tombs of some of the most famous individuals of the ancient world—Imhotep, Nefertiti, Cleopatra, and the Macedonian leader Alexander the Great foremost among them—that so far have eluded discovery. Along with chronicling expeditions, Naunton provides colorful biographies of these major historical figures and the world they inhabited. The 19th-century craze for Egyptian antiquities resulted in major finds, but despite two centuries of efforts, much has not been revealed. Of the tombs that have been discovered over the years, the author notes that many have been found empty, plundered by robbers lusting after the considerable wealth buried with the mummified corpse. Some robberies, he speculates, were likely carried out by the same people who buried the deceased or by workers involved in the construction of a new tomb that opened accidentally into the old one. Naunton vividly describes the sumptuous riches of burial sites: In 1939, for example, a team under the direction of French archaeologist Pierre Montet discovered a royal tomb containing a “falcon-headed coffin of solid silver,” a solid gold funerary mask, a scarab of lapis lazuli, and objects made of other precious materials. The following year, his team discovered a mummy “wrapped in almost unimaginable riches,” including 22 bracelets, solid gold toe and finger rings, and jeweled weapons, amulets, and canes. While it seems mysterious that the tombs of famous individuals should remain hidden, Naunton suggests that ancient “waves of rebuilding,” sieges, geological changes, and recent redevelopment have caused sites to be obscured. The tomb of Cleopatra and, perhaps, Marc Antony, for example, may lie buried in the sea, off the coast of Alexandria.

An authoritative guide leads an illuminating journey into the distant past.

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-05199-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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