When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
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.
About the Author
KARA COONEY is a professor of Egyptology at UCLA. Her academic work focuses on death preparations, afterlife beliefs, and gender studies. She has participated in digs with the Metropolitan Museum of New York at the Royal Pyramid complex of Senwosret III and the Theban Necropolis with Johns Hopkins University. She appeared as a lead expert in the popular Discovery Channel special The Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen, and is a recurring team member of the History Channel's Digging for the Truth. Her book The Woman Who Would Be King was published in 2014.
“An accessible spin through the corridors of power in ancient Egypt, corridors that converged on thrones on which women reigned…Cooney provides welcome insights into pharaonic politics while bringing numerous little-known Egyptian women to the fore.” –Kirkus
“Although Cooney occasionally flirts with gender essentialism, this book shines as an introduction to ancient Egyptian society and beliefs centered around elite women's experiences.” –Booklist
“…this book breaks from trends in studies of ancient Egypt…Cooney discusses the women’s leadership…and speculates about what they must have experienced…her stories of these remarkable women…will enchant those wishing to imagine what ancient Egyptian court life was like.”