The Writing of the Gods: The Race to Decode the Rosetta Stone


Product Details

$20.00  $18.60
Scribner Book Company
Publish Date
5.51 X 8.35 X 1.18 inches | 0.68 pounds

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About the Author

Edward Dolnick is the author of The Writing of the Gods, The Clockwork Universe, The Forger's Spell, and the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist, among other books. A former chief science writer at The Boston Globe, he has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. He lives with his wife near Washington, DC.


"An engrossing account of the 20-year competition that followed [the discovery of the Rosetta Stone]. . . . Dolnick exuberantly captures the frustrations and triumphs of scholars as they puzzle out the meaning of long-dead runes." -New York Times Book Review "[Dolnick] does a masterful job of guiding the reader through the labyrinth of false starts, wrong turns, and dead ends that prefaced a fuller understanding of the symbols. . . . The Writing of the Gods is an engrossing account of one of the greatest breakthroughs in archaeological history, one that brought a dead language, and a buried culture, back to life." -Christian Science Monitor "An entertaining account of a great intellectual achievement." -The Economist "Dolnick treats [Young and Champollion's] efforts like a thriller, with both men making game-changing breakthroughs, benefiting from shrewd guesses, and being hampered by preconceptions or bad luck. While the codebreaking chapters captivate, the supporting material-covering the development of writing, the history and culture of ancient Egypt, Napoleon's military campaigns in the region, the academic milieu of the early 19th century and more-can be every bit as entertaining." -Minneapolis Star Tribune "[Dolnick] does a first-rate job of storytelling; his scenes are vivid and his cast of characters wide-ranging. Too, he writes with wit." -New York Journal of Books "According to Dolnick, the Rosetta Stone was not only, as its discoverers suspected, a key to Egyptian hieroglyphs, and thereby to a huge swath of otherwise inaccessible ancient history. It was also a lesson in decoding itself, in what the human mind does when faced with a puzzle." -The New Yorker