Cairo in the War 1939-45 by Artemis Cooper

Cairo in the War 1939-45 by Artemis Cooper soon to be presented for sale on the excellent BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London: Hamish Hamilton, 1989, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white photographs; Maps;

From the cover: For troops in the desert, Cairo meant fleshpots or brass hats. For well-connected officers, it meant polo at the Gezira Club, drinks at Shepheards and opulent parties where one might meet Randolph Churchill, Freya Stark, Peter Fleming or Cecil Beaton. For the irregular warriors like David Stirling or Paddy Leigh Fermor, Cairo was a flat to dump their weapons and throw legendary parties before the next mission behind enemy lines. For inveterate gamblers, it meant the race courses of Heliopolis and Gezira, and baccarat at the Muhammad Ali Club. For the Free French, Poles and Balkan royal families, as well as countless refugees, Cairo was a stopping place in the long struggle to get home. Among these were the writers Bernard Spencer, Lawrence Durrell, and Olivia Manning. Their theme was exile: a feeling reflected by the seedy, fly-blown indifference of the city. Meanwhile, in the corridors of General Head Quarters and the Special Operations Executive, ambitious staff officers fought their own secret wars. Militant nationalists like Anwar Sadat conspired with German spies, and Cairo hummed with rumours and unconfirmed reports.

The political scene was dominated by the massive figure of the British Ambassador, Sir Miles Lampson. In February 1942 he surrounded the Abdin Palace with tanks and attempted to depose King Farouk, in one of the last and most dramatic acts of British imperialism. Five months later it looked as if the British would be thrown out of Egypt for good: Rommels forces reached Alamein, sixty miles from Alexandria. The air of Cairo was thick with smoke and charred paper from burning files, and the day became known as Ash Wednesday. The Germans were pushed back, and Cairo life went on; but in the Egyptian Army, a handful of young officers were thinking dangerous thoughts.

Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper mylar-sealed, much faded at the spine and onto the margins of the panels. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Boards tanned at the very edges. Text complete, clean and tight.

Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XII] 370 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I captivate you with this splendid selection from my Military History catalogue?

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About BookLovers of Bath

The world's leading book dealer in Peasedown St. John.
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