I saw this review on the Amazon site. I feel it is a good start for a discussion.
Reviewer: A reader from APO, AE United States
This book was interesting reading but the concepts in it are, as you can see by the reviews, quite controversial. I read the book with an open mind since I was going to Egypt to work, but I found myself challenged because it is not what I was taught in either high school or college. However, after living in Egypt for about a year and having visited the museum on several occasions in addition to visiting Upper Egypt (Nubia). I do not find the concepts as challenging as before.
Some observations: My brown-skinned Egyptian friends do not like to readily recognize any African blood. But the connection is obvious-curly hair to tight hair, thick lips, wide noses, colorful skin, etc. Further, the Nubians who are clearly black, by any standard, are Egyptians and interact and intermarry with lighter Egyptians quite freely. This is obvious once you are here. It is not clear if there is any discrimination. I have not met an Egyptian yet who would admit to being superior based upon his or her lighter skin color than the Nubian Egyptians but most of the present day elite have lighter skin tones. Egypt has always had an African connection (it is in Africa). Egypt became Egypt when the king of Nubia conquered the kingdom in the Delta. Any Egyptian will tell you this.
What makes this book controversial is not the varied skin color of the Egyptians but that the early Greeks wrote that they got their knowledge from blacks in Egypt. This means that the basis of western civilization is African and not European. The important thing to consider is, regardless of the skin color of the ancient Egyptians, is that their culture was African. It became Arab around the time of the spread of Islam. Modern-day Egyptians know that the Nubians are black, know that they have been around forever, and know that many of them have relatives from Nubia but they do not necessarily see the connection with Africa. This is even more interesting when you consider that the Sudanese Arabs, who are very black, also think along similar lines (they are Arab not African). My view is that there is no racial definition of an Arab. They are generally white in Syria, while they are generally black in the Sudan. Most are in-between. This reminds my of my Colombian roommate in college whose father was white/mestizo and whose mother was black/mestizo. He was born looking like his father so he was white/mestizo but his sister who was born looking like his mother was black/mestizo. To my mind, he was black. In fact, he constantly emphasized that he was not. Hispanics, also, cannot be racially defined. Even in the same country, like Puerto Rico, some are black and some are white. Their standard of what is white is if you have one drop of white blood then you are white. Much like the opposite U.S. standard of what is black. Different cultures have a different way of looking at things. I guess a lot depends on current and past events that have affected the culture. The book will make you think about your preconceptions of basic history and culture. This is a worthy challenge. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0761521631/ref=cm_rev_next/002-0042409-4630475?v=glance&s=books&vi=customer-reviews&show=-submittime&start-at=21