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The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square

Steven A. Cook

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

The recent revolution in Egypt has shaken the Arab world to its roots. The most populous Arab country and the historical center of Arab intellectual life, Egypt is a linchpin of the US's Middle East strategy, receiving more aid than any nation except Israel. This is not the first time that the world and has turned its gaze to Egypt, however. A half century ago, Egypt under Nasser became the putative leader of the Arab world and a beacon for all developing nations. Yet in the decades prior to the 2011 revolution, it was ruled over by a sclerotic regime plagued by nepotism and corruption. During that time, its economy declined into near shambles, a severely overpopulated Cairo fell into disrepair, and it produced scores of violent Islamic extremists such as Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mohammed Atta. In The Struggle for Egypt, Steven Cook--a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations--explains how this parlous state of affairs came to be, why the revolution occurred, and where Egypt might be headed next. A sweeping account of Egypt in the modern era, it incisively chronicles all of the nation's central historical episodes: the decline of British rule, the rise of Nasser and his quest to become a pan-Arab leader, Egypt's decision to make peace with Israel and ally with the United States, the assassination of Sadat, the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood, and--finally--the demonstrations that convulsed Tahrir Square and overthrew an entrenched regime. Throughout Egypt's history, there has been an intense debate to define what Egypt is, what it stands for, and its relation to the world. Egyptians now have an opportunity to finally answer these questions. Doing so in a way that appeals to the vast majority of Egyptians, Cook notes, will be difficult but ultimately necessary if Egypt is to become an economically dynamic and politically vibrant society.

Publishers Weekly Review

Nov 21, 2011 – Jumping from the chaotic byways of Cairo to the highest reaches of international diplomacy, this providentially-timed account of modern Egyptian history combines immersion journalism with insightful policy analysis. A Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Cook (Ruling but Not Governing: The Military) translates an insider's perspective for a general readership. Tracing two trajectories—Egypt's uneasy foreign relations and its authoritarian domestic politics—he argues that the exuberant democratic uprisings of Spring 2010 had origins stretching back half a century. British colonialists "demonstrated an unwillingness to acknowledge Egypt's popular will," and their American and Soviet successors were mostly interested in the nation's strategic value in the Cold War. The worst international affronts, Cook argues, came at the hands of the Israeli Defense Forces, which defeated the Egyptian army in 1956, 1967, and 1973. Domestically, a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser wrested political power from the monarchy in 1952. Promising positive change, Nasser transformed his country into "an influential voice in the developing world." His successors, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, oversaw a steady decline from the initial euphoria of independence. By 2011, the "failure of Nasserism, with its rhetorical emphasis on social justice, income redistribution, free education, and guaranteed employment," was more or less complete, and the stage was set for Tahrir Square.
The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Middle East
  • Published: Oct 07, 2011
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Seller: Oxford University Press
  • Print Length: 424 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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