Kavalali Mehmed Ali Pasha (c. 1770 1849), often dubbed "the founder of modern Egypt", was one of the most important figures in the history of the Ottoman Empire. Born in what is now Greece, and seemingly headed for an everyday existence as a married tobacco trader, he joined the Ottoman army at the age of thirty, and went on to become the ruler of Egypt for nearly half a century. Conqueror of Sudan and Syria, despot, and eventually a threat to the Ottoman Empire itself, he established both mass industrialisation and the mass-farming of cotton, and secured hereditary rule for his descendents. In this insightful and well-constructed biography, Khaled Fahmy assesses the infamous leader's life, and his contribution to Egyptian, and more broadly, Islamic history. Khaled Fahmy is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at New York University. He is the author of All the Pasha's Men: Mehmed Ali, His Army and the Making of Modern Egypt.