This riveting narrative explores the lives of six remarkable female pharaohs, from Hatshepsut to Cleopatra–women who ruled with real power–and shines a piercing light on our own perceptions of women in power today.
Female rulers are a rare phenomenon–but thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, women reigned supreme. Regularly, repeatedly, and with impunity, queens like Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra controlled the totalitarian state as power-brokers and rulers. But throughout human history, women in positions of power were more often used as political pawns in a male-dominated society. What was so special about ancient Egypt that provided women this kind of access to the highest political office? What was it about these women that allowed them to transcend patriarchal obstacles? What did Egypt gain from its liberal reliance on female leadership, and could today’s world learn from its example?
Celebrated Egyptologist Kara Cooney delivers a fascinating tale of female power, exploring the reasons why it has seldom been allowed through the ages, and why we should care.
I found myself setting a new goal recently; read more nonfiction. So, since I enjoyed The Last Days of the Dinosaurs I figured I’d try and find more enjoyable nonfiction. So let’s excavate When Women Ruled the World.
This is your typical nonfiction book, it’s dry, and it’s easy to doze off. I wouldn’t recommend this for the casual Ancient Egypt student, the only parts I found interesting was the beginning and the end with Cleopatra and the epilogue.
I’d also recommend taking notes if you have any hopes of retaining the information. Maybe this was my experience since I listened to the audiobook. I’ve thought about adjusting my rating to match my feelings on the content I listened to, but I’m too generous with my ratings.
Ancient Egypt is an anomaly as the only land that consistently called upon the rule of women to keep its regime in working order, safe from discord, and on the surest possible footing—particularly when a crisis was under way.Kara Cooney; When Women Ruled the World
On a positive note, I liked how the author used modern examples to explain the expectations and politics of Ancient Egypt. She often brought up Hilary Clinton and her political journey, which at moments I appreciated. I think having more modern examples of the double standard that women face, especially in politics helped convey the talking points.
Overall, this is a good book in my opinion. I’m not a student on the subject, just a casual fan of the time period. I’d recommend this book for anyone wanting to know more about the queens of Ancient Egypt and the politics that were involved.
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