TREASURED

HOW TUTANKHAMUN SHAPED A CENTURY

An imaginative weaving of the personal and political into a fresh narrative of an archaeological icon.

How the discovery of Tutankhamun’s grave has resonated in cultural and political history well into the present.

As a point of departure, Riggs, the author of multiple books about ancient Egyptian culture, uses the lessons she learned about King Tut in her rural Ohio public school, knowledge that led to an enduring fascination with ancient Egyptian history and subsequent profession as an Egyptologist. As her teacher scrolled through the images on the projector, “something wonderful shimmered into view,” writes the author, echoing the supposed utterance of the original discoverer, Howard Carter. “Ten years old and miserable, I had never seen anything so splendid and surreal. I had to know more about this Tutankhamun and his tomb in the Valley of Kings, not knowing, not able even to imagine, how it would change my life.” The author moves from the thrilling excavation led by Carter and the Earl of Carnarvon, through the puzzling dynastic antecedents of Tut and his brief yet glorious life 3,000 years ago. Riggs also examines the “Tut-mania” that followed the discovery of his grave and how his story “has as much to do with geopolitics, post-war utopias, and consumer capitalism as it does with priceless treasures, thrilling discoveries, or hidden burials.” Resurrected in the 1960s, the King Tut exhibit was first promoted by first lady Jacqueline Kennedy at the National Gallery of Art, which spurred subsequent tours and established a complicated, interconnected web of celebrity archaeologists, blockbuster exhibitions, and global geopolitics. “By the 1970s…as the Middle East peace process and free-market economics entangled Egypt with America,” writes the author, “Tutankhamun did the diplomatic work of presenting his homeland as a friendly face and worthy ally.” At the time, she continues, there was “a concerted effort to educate Americans about the region and cultivate a positive attitude towards Egypt and the Arab world, the source of the oil on which the American way of life depended.”

An imaginative weaving of the personal and political into a fresh narrative of an archaeological icon.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5417-0121-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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    Best Books Of 2017


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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

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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