Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra: A Life
368 pages; Little, Brown
Mention Cleopatra and you probably think of Elizabeth Taylor batting her violet eyes at Richard Burton. Or maybe Shakespeare's temptress fooling around with Julius Caesar and dying for love of Mark Antony. But it turns out we have seriously underestimated the last Egyptian queen. In her provocative new biography, Cleopatra: A Life, Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff makes the case that the richest and most powerful woman of all time was less "wanton temptress" than savvy politician.
— Liza Nelson