The greatest river in the world has a long and fascinating history. Professor Terje Tvedt, one of the world's leading experts on the history of waterways, travels upstream along the river's mouth to its sources. The result is a travelogue through 5000 years and 11 countries, from the Mediterranean to Central Africa. This is the fascinating story of the immense economic, political and mythical significance of the river. Brimming with accounts of central characters in the struggle for the Nile – from Caesar and Cleopatra, to Churchill and Mussolini, and on to the political leaders of today, The Nile is also the story of water as it nourished a civilization.
Terje Tvedt is a Professor of Geography at the University of Bergen and Professor of Political Science and of Global History at the University of Oslo, Norway. He has published extensively on water-related topics and presented three successful television documentaries on water, shown in 150 countries worldwide. He is the Series Editor of the pioneering History of Water Series, published by I.B.Tauris.
"In his vivid travelogue and cultural history, the Norwegian professor Terje Tvedt journeys from mouth to source, presenting a deluge of detail about the sediments of history, folklore and nature along the Nile's banks [...] Tvedt, switching effortlessly from history to reportage, also brings the Nile into the present with discursions on everything from Barack Obama's family origins in Kenya and George W Bush's role in South Sudan's gaining independence in 2011 to Idi Amin feeding human bodies to the crocodiles."
– New Statesman
"When Terje Tveldt's survey of the great river leaves Egypt for the upper reaches, we begin to learn some satisfyingly arcane facts [...] For those with time to spare – perhaps when taking a long sail up the great river – the book has much to offer if treated as a compendium to dip into judiciously."
– The Spectator
"A wide-ranging, idiosyncratic exploration of the ways in which the river Nile has shaped life throughout Africa across the course of centuries [...] This book sparks the imagination, encouraging readers to discover more about lives lived along the Nile, past and present."
– Joyce Tyldesley, BBC History Magazine
"[Tvedt] is an engaging, idiosyncratic guide, charting the ways in which the river has shaped everything from culture and agriculture to empire and religion. Packed with surprising detours and larger-than-life characters, it's both a fascinating study of a specific region and an illuminating look at the relationship between humans and the physical world we inhabit."
– BBC History Revealed Magazine
"In this involving and richly nuanced narrative, [Tvedt] invites the reader to join him on his journey in a book that is part history, part travelogue, and always involving [...] Tvedt's love for his subject is evident on every page. Readers will find much to enjoy here, whether they are students of history, or simply looking for a book that is as accessible as it is ambitious. With a scope as vast as the Nile itself [...] The Nile is essential reading."
– All About History
"A hefty tome you might take with you the next time you were holidaying on the Nile."
– Mature Times
"The Nile traces the historical, cultural, economic and political influence of this great river."
"A fascinating insight into the lifeblood of Africa. Written with an extraordinary eye for detail and a wonderful blend of genres."
– Levison Wood, explorer, writer and photographer
"Professor Tvedt's book is a love-letter to the Nile's history and a map of the future of the world's longest river."
– Judith Bunbury, author of The Nile and Ancient Egypt (2019)
"An expert weaver's tapestry of history, ecology, and politics on the world's greatest river. Lucky are the armchair travelers who join Terje Tvedt on this engaging odyssey up the Nile and across millennia."
– Dan Morrison, author of The Black Nile (2010)
"Epic [...] interesting and thought provoking."
– Irish Tech News