Empress of the Nile The daredevil archaeologist who saved Egypt's ancient temples from destruction

Lynne Olson

Book - 2023

"In the 1960s, the world's attention was focused on a nail-biting race against time--an international campaign to save over a dozen ancient Egyptian temples, built during the height of the pharaohs' rule, from drowning in the floodwaters of the gigantic new Aswan High Dam. But the massive press coverage of this unprecedented rescue effort completely overlooked the feisty French archaeologist who made it all happen. Without the intervention of Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, the t...emples--including the Met Museum's Temple of Dendur--would now be at the bottom of a gigantic reservoir. It was a project of unimaginable size and complexity that required the fragile sandstone temples to be dismantled, stone by stone, and rebuilt on higher ground. A willful, real-life version of Indiana Jones, Desroches-Noblecourt refused to be cowed by anyone or anything. As a brave member of the French Resistance in WWII she had survived imprisonment by the Nazis; in her fight to save the temples she had to face down two of the most daunting leaders of the postwar world, Egyptian President Abdel Nasser and French President Charles de Gaulle. As she told one reporter, "You don't get anywhere without a fight, you know." Yet Desroches-Noblecourt was not the only woman who played a crucial role in the endeavor. The other one was Jacqueline Kennedy, America's new First Lady, who persuaded her husband to call on Congress to help fund the rescue effort. After a century and a half of Western plunder of Egypt's ancient monuments, Desroches-Noblecourt had done the opposite. She had helped preserve a crucial part of its cultural heritage and, just as important, made sure it remained in its homeland"--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 932/Olson (NEW SHELF) Due Apr 18, 2023
New York : Random House [2023]
First edition
Physical Description
xx, 426 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 383-406) and index.
Main Author
Lynne Olson (author)
  • Introduction
  • A childhood passion
  • Coming of age at the Louvre
  • "A dangerous black sheep"
  • A splendid adventure
  • Upheaval in Cairo
  • "Luck smiled on me again"
  • Saving the treasures of the Louvre
  • Resisting the Nazis
  • Shock waves in Egypt
  • "Ozymandias, king of kings"
  • Disaster at Suez
  • "These monuments belong to all of us"
  • The greatest dig in history
  • A champion in the White House
  • A time of crisis
  • The First Lady intervenes
  • "Go, baby, go!"
  • "No one was more resolute that she"
  • The battle for Dendur
  • "A cultural juggernaut"
  • "Bringing them back to life"
  • Jackie and Ari
  • Operation Rameses
  • Saving Philae
  • Valley of the Queens
  • "The most prestigious living Egyptologist in the world".