James H. Breasted (1865-1935) was the foremost influence in introducing Americans to the culture of ancient Egypt. He founded the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and was the author of History of Egypt and Ancient Times: A History of the Early World, among other works.
"A masterly study of the development of religion and thought in ancient Egypt. . . . No better attempt has been made to trace from beginning to end the leading categories of life, thought, and civilization as they successfully made their mark on religion, or to follow religion from age to age, disclosing especially how it was shaped by these influences, and how in turn it reacted to society."—E. O. James
"A monument and a classic. . . . In this book we find the impact of nature upon religion in the abounding land of Egypt; the first skepticism and questionings of the system; the search for social justice as an answer to social woes, and the consequent seizure of royal privileges by lesser men; the attempt to assert monotheism; humble trust in a forgiving god; and the final triumph of priestly rule over religion. Because it is remote from us in time and place, we can look at it in detachment. And yet, in its cadences and in its stresses, it is our own story."—John A. Wilson, from the Introduction