I needed some light reading after Memoirs of Albert Speer, so I picked up The Pyramids of Egypt by I.E.S. Edwards. Old book first printed in 1955 tracing the historical development of Pyramids in Egypt, and the religious beliefs associated with them etc. First printed in 1955, it remains a classic and an authoritative work on pyramids. My own copy is from 1978.
But just as I was about to start on this, I picked up another book. On impulse. And I read through its 350 pages in a day, because...it was great fun.
IACOCCA - An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca (with William Novak)
He’s an American legend, a straight-shooting businessman who brought Chrysler back from the brink and in the process became a media celebrity, newsmaker, and a man many had urged to run for president.
The son of Italian immigrants, Lee Iacocca rose spectacularly through the ranks of Ford Motor Company to become its president, only to be toppled eight years later in a power play that should have shattered him. But Lee Iacocca didn’t get mad, he got even. He led a battle for Chrysler’s survival that made his name a symbol of integrity, know-how, and guts for millions of Americans.
In his classic hard-hitting style, he tells us how he changed the automobile industry in the 1960s by creating the phenomenal Mustang. He goes behind the scenes for a look at Henry Ford’s reign of intimidation and manipulation. He recounts the miraculous rebirth of Chrysler from near bankruptcy to repayment of its $1.2 billion government loan so early that Washington didn’t know how to cash the check.
Entertaining. Very very Entertaining. It does not matter what your views on Big Business are, if you read this book, you will admire this man for his skill, his tenacity, his genius and most importantly, his guts. This man had above average balls. And used every inch he had to achieve success at whatever he did.
"... The defense budget is $300 billion. I'm a businessman. Believe me, I can cut 5% out of anything and you'll never know I did it. In fact, I've been doing it all my life."
Now for The Pyramids of Egypt, I'm 75 pages in and its evidently very well researched. The writing style is lucid and easy to understand, and the man really knows what he is writing about. The Introduction really is a proper guide to everything that the book will cover, and those illustrations. 57 of them in a 296-page book. All highly detailed.
The pyramids of Egypt, like the identities of homer and Shakespeare,have always been considered fair game for the theories of amateurs and cranks.Standing solid and enormous in the desert west of the Nile,their eerie grandeur has caused men to marvel for thousands of years.
Dr Edwards draws both on his research and on the work of many archaeologists who have dug in Egypt. Surveying 1000 years of pyramid-building, he charts the rise and decline of the pyramids as funerary monuments, from the mastabas of the first and second dynasties and the step pyramids to the archaic and backward-looking efforts of the Middle Kingdom, and discusses the famous group at Giza. His final chapter, dealing with their construction and purpose, puts the pyramids into the perspective of ancient Egyptian society.
I am going to enjoy this.