Cover: Cairo, from Harvard University PressCover: Cairo in PAPERBACK


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Product Details


$34.00 • £27.95 • €30.50

ISBN 9780674009967

Publication Date: 11/30/2002

Academic Trade

448 pages

5-11/16 x 8-15/16 inches

67 halftones, 13 maps, 3 tables


This is a fabulously interesting work… Most books by westerners which even approach Cairo lose their marbles fairly quickly. [Raymond’s book] maintains such a strong hold on them it should be required reading.—Louisa Young, The Independent

André Raymond, who traces the growth of Cairo from the founding of the garrison city of Fustat by the Muslim conqueror Amr ibn Al-As in the 7th century to the present, has a sanguine attitude. He celebrates the city even as he charts its many problems. His book, like all good history, puts the present in context. He reminds us that however dodgy it is to walk along Cairo’s streets in 2001, dodging people and animals, coping with intermittently unpleasant smells, the same walk 300 years ago would have been much worse.—Zachary Karabell, The Los Angeles Times

[Raymond describes] an evolving Cairo connected to its visible history but not defined by it… If you want to know a place (and, in this case, really know a place), it’s vastly more rewarding to read about the whole of that place’s culture and people throughout history than to skim over a glorified rundown of what there is to ‘see and do.’Travelocity Magazine

Raymond has written a thorough, detailed, and interpretive biography of one of the world’s great cities.—B. Harris Jr., Choice

Egypt has long served as the pulse of the Arab world…[and] a fascinating country for scholars and foreign travelers alike… In this comprehensive study, Raymond…meticulously traces Cairo’s history to the present day. The narrative is enhanced by 15 interesting maps, drawings, and photos. Highly recommended.—Nader Entessar, Library Journal

Eminent French historian Raymond lucidly delineates how the city, intrinsically tied to Egypt’s Islamic history…also reflects the multifaceted trends of modern Egyptian history and brings the city up-to-date in its transformation into the overcrowded, bustling, crumbling metropolis it is today… Adeptly translated and equipped with fabulous maps of Cairo during each historic phase, this is a useful and reliable primer on the physical, economic and political history of an important and vibrant city.Publishers Weekly

A remarkable book, unlike any other in Middle Eastern history. Raymond offers a beautifully balanced longitudinal view of Cairo from the Arab conquest to 1992. Balance is a crucial term. You get archaeology, topography, architectural history, political history, social evolution, economic structure, and urban design, all in moderation and integrated into a holistic view of the urban fabric and experience.—Richard Bulliet, author of Islam: The View from the Edge

A major contribution to the history of Egypt and the Middle East and a book that will command the attention of urban sociologists working on third world cities. Raymond is one of the leading social historians of the Arab world. He has an enviable reputation as a meticulous and authoritative researcher on Arab social history. He is clearly one of those historians of the Middle East influenced by the Annales school of social history, so popular for many years in French history and general European history and so influential now in the study of the third world. Cairo is a work of high scholarship—an important addition to the history of Cairo and Egypt. It is based on wide-ranging research, especially in the Arabic materials on the city, and it is especially good on the Ottoman period. Scholars will regard the work as authoritative and will be delighted to see it translated into English. I think anyone teaching courses on Arab history will find a wealth of illustrative material here from which to draw lectures.—Robert L. Tignor, author of Capitalism and Nationalism at the End of Empire

Awards & Accolades

  • 2002 Lewis Galantiere Award, American Translators Association
Murty Classical Library of India

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