Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East by Juan Cole

By Juan Cole

In this vivid and well timed heritage, Juan Cole tells the tale of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt. Revealing the younger general's purposes for best the excursion opposed to Egypt in 1798 and showcasing his interesting perspectives of the Orient, Cole delves into the psychology of the army titan and his entourage. He paints a multi-faceted portrait of the daily travails of the warriors in Napoleon's military, including how they imagined Egypt, how their expectancies differed from what they discovered, and the way they grappled with army challenges in a international land. Cole ultimately reveals how Napoleon's invasion, the 1st sleek try to invade the Arab world, invented and crystallized the rhetoric of liberal imperialism. You can stopover at Juan Cole's weblog, expert remark at http://www.juancole.com/

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Many French in the age of the Revolution had become deists, that is, they believed that God, if he existed at 32 NAPOLEON ’ S EGYPT all, was a cosmic clockmaker who had set the universe in motion but did not any longer intervene in its affairs. Most deists did not consider themselves Christians any longer and looked down on Middle Eastern Christians as priest-ridden and backward. Jaubert recalled that the priest “was ordered to read it to them, and to comment on it as he proceeded. ” Jaubert thought it further amusing that the poor priest had had to tell the captured Alexandrians that the French, whom he had initially greeted as fellow Catholics loyal to the pope, were actually a kind of “muslim” who had attacked the pontiff!

No doubt he frequently did so. But the mistake with regard to water resources is A SKY AFLAME 37 most elegantly explained by simple ignorance in the beginning, combined with appalling callousness even after the problem became apparent. Bonaparte, an islander whose major military successes to date had been in Italy, did not realize the severe limitations lack of water imposed on desert warfare. In addition, he felt himself in an almost hopeless race against time, given the proximity and firepower of the British fleet.

As for urban folk, “Their clothing is a few rags thrown bizarrely over their bodies, and on their heads is chiffon rolled up like a swallow’s nest, which they call a turban. ”9 Moiret was most scathing about the common women and complained of the way their poverty created immodesty even as they attempted to veil their faces. Not all French officers were as dismissive of Egyptian women as Moiret, the former seminarian, was. His allegation, that women were zealous about veiling but careless about letting slip a glimpse of their charms, concerned lowermiddle-class urban women, who were presumably attempting to emulate the veiling practices of the upper-class Ottoman-Egyptians but did not have enough money to afford blouses that would guarantee their modesty.

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