The Pharaohs of the predynastic period, the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom are discussed for more than their always fascinating funerary customs. The New Kingdom rulers get the most attention, but it is the growth of trade, the encouragement of art, the changes in religious practices and government that are traced from prehistoric times. Because so much of what is known comes from the interpretation of the art and artifacts found inside the tombs, the compelling beauty of ancient Egyptian commemorative sculpture and painting is used to tell the visual history next to the expert text, which is by Jacquetta Hawkes who is co-author with Sir Leonard Woolley of Harper & Row's adult series that began in 1963 with the outstanding Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization. The color work is magnificent throughout and the photography superb. The list of books for further reference is an excellent selection of recent and widely available books together with a list of the American museums noted for their Egyptian collections.