Egypt, Politics and Society, 1945-1990

Egypt, Politics and Society, 1945-1990

Egypt, Politics and Society, 1945-1990

Egypt, Politics and Society, 1945-1990

Synopsis

The second edition of this lucid and accessible work rapidly established itself as a textbook for universities and colleges. This new edition brings it further up to date and places the achievements and failures of President Mubarak in context. The new material includes an examination of Egypt's role in the Gulf Crisis. The book is divided by topic and areas covered include: * The political ideologies of Presidents Nasser and Sadat * The economic problems facing the nation * The role of Islam in politics and in society * Egyptian culture and literature

Excerpt

It is surely legitimate to ask why an outsider should write about Egypt. An Egyptian must by definition know more about his own society and he would be able to write one kind of book, an authoritative picture from the inside. There is also room, I believe, for the outsider’s point of view, a view possibly not accepted or even recognised by the Egyptian, which should try to interpret what the observer sees with a sympathy and understanding which do not blind him to faults and short-comings. The problem for the British writer attempting such a study is to clear away the legacy of the Anglo-Egyptian imperial relationship, to grasp what British domination meant to the Egyptian and to understand how he tried to emerge from this shadow. This can on occasions be a sobering experience.

The British came and went in Egypt and they distorted the course of politics and society for over seventy years. The Egyptians are a forgiving and a tolerant people and, politics aside, welcome the stranger in their midst. This book could not have been written without the help, perhaps unconsciously given, of innumerable Egyptian friends and colleagues. I have also been fortunate enough to visit Egypt regularly since 1959 and have been offered endless hospitality. I have benefited from talking to Egyptian and other colleagues and students in Oxford and elsewhere and from listening to them lecturing, discussing and arguing or just conversing. I would mention a few of the many: Roger Owen, Robert Mabro, Nazih Ayubi, Samir Radwan, Muhammad Wahby, Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab and especially Mustafa Badawi a stimulating companion in Egypt and Oxford, and George Scanlon, a tireless host and a fund of knowledge in Cairo. Their views, written and spoken, are reflected in these pages and I hope they are not unfairly distorted. In the end, however, they are transmitted through my personal focus and the resultant work is my responsibility.

This book was written for the person who may have no previous knowledge of the Middle East or Egypt, whether university or college student or general reader interested in history, politics or social studies, to help him to gain an impression of a non-European country developing and changing in the face of great odds. It may also help in the study of Third World politics and development in general or be an introduction to further study of Egypt itself. If written in French it might claim to be a work of ‘vulgarisation’ with not much to say to the specialist. With some misgivings, I have omitted footnotes, feeling academically naked and hoping that the bibliography will partially remedy the omission. It is intended both to list the sources used and to point to further study. It should be clear in the course of the book how much I have relied on the original research of other scholars and the inclusion of their studies in the bibliography is meant as acknowledgement. Egypt has occasioned the production of numerous

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