Thursday, December 23, 2021

{ The Good Kings by Kara Cooney - TLC Book Tours }

About The Good Kings

• Publisher: National Geographic (November 2, 2021)
• Hardcover: 400 pages

Written in the tradition of historians like Mary Beard and Stacy Schiff who find modern lessons in ancient history, this provocative narrative explores the lives of five remarkable pharaohs who ruled Egypt with absolute power, shining a new light on the country’s 3,000-year empire and its meaning today.

In a new era when democracies around the world are threatened or crumbling, best-selling author Kara Cooney turns to five ancient Egyptian pharaohs–Khufu, Senwosret III, Akenhaten, Ramses II, and Taharqa–to understand why many so often give up power to the few, and what it can mean for our future.

As the first centralized political power on earth, the pharaohs and their process of divine kingship can tell us a lot about the world’s politics, past and present. Every animal-headed god, every monumental temple, every pyramid, every tomb, offers extraordinary insight into a culture that combined deeply held religious beliefs with uniquely human schemes to justify a system in which one ruled over many.

From Khufu, the man who built the Great Pyramid at Giza as testament to his authoritarian reign, and Taharqa, the last true pharaoh who worked to make Egypt great again, we discover a clear lens into understanding how power was earned, controlled, and manipulated in ancient times. And in mining the past, Cooney uncovers the reason why societies have so willingly chosen a dictator over democracy, time and time again.

Purchase Links

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kara cooney

About the Author:

KARA COONEY is Professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA and chair of its Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Her academic work focuses on death preparations, social competition, and gender studies. She appeared as a lead expert in the popular Discovery Channel special “The Secrets of Egypt’s Lost Queen” and produced and wrote Discovery’s Out of Egypt. The author of When Women Ruled the World (2018) and The Woman Who Would be King (2014), Cooney lives in Los Angeles, CA.



I grew up with a grandfather who loved learning, loved history and introduced us to all sorts of interesting facts.  I still remember in our bookshelf, there was a whole collection of these black books, in Portuguese, about the Mayans, Easter Island, Egyptian Kings and Mummies, UFOs and so on.  

I was fascinated by these, and even though I was quite young at the time, I would spend hours looking through the pictures.

One of my favorites was the book on Egypt, the mummies and Tutankhamun.  

I wish I had been able to keep that collection for myself, but I moved to the USA and really no idea whatever happened to those books, or what my grandma did with them.  But, anyway, when I received Kara Cooney's book The Good Kings, it immediately reminded me of those black books.

The Good Kings brings us insight into 5 of the greatest Kings of ancient civilization.  Why?

To try and understand why societies are so quick to give into dictatorship, to give up their freedoms and to allow someone to rule with an iron fist over their lives.  

Kara Cooney looks into what made these 5 Pharaoh kings so powerful, what made them so appealing to the civilizations they ruled over, and attempts to persuade us to look at history in order to not repeat it.  
Though we may live in very different times to those back in Egypt, some things remain the same, some things never change.
Growing up, I always thought of these Kings as amazing, do no wrong, fantastic leaders, and though they may have been all that in part, they were also ruthless, power hungry, rule with an iron fist and take no prisoners, kind of kings.  
I really enjoyed getting to know these men better, and though I may not agree with some, or a lot of what they did, I can appreciate history for what it is and move forward determined to not let it repeat itself.  
Brilliant book, definite thumbs up from me.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and National Geographic for providing me with a free copy for review.


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