Egypt during the Nasser Years: Ideology, Politics, and Civil Society

Egypt during the Nasser Years: Ideology, Politics, and Civil Society

Egypt during the Nasser Years: Ideology, Politics, and Civil Society

Egypt during the Nasser Years: Ideology, Politics, and Civil Society

Excerpt

This book, a political history of Egypt from 1952 to 1970, is the product of over four years of field research. It draws heavily on the recently published memoirs (in Arabic) of numerous prominent actors and on extensive personal interviews with members of Egypt's political-economic elite.

Although a quasi-official limit of fifty interviews was in effect during much of the research period, numerous trips to Egypt over a lengthy period of time permitted me to obtain perhaps the largest set of key elite interviews ever collected in that country. Multiple interviews were held with a very select group of past and present political elites, representing a broad cross section of ideological viewpoints. (See Appendix C.)

My research revealed a certain level of distrust among members of the political elite. As one man said when informed of an interview planned with one of his peers, "He's my dear friend and a dear man, but be careful with him. He's the biggest liar in the world." However, despite signs of dissembling by some interviewees, my overall confidence in the frankness and truthfulness of the responses I received is high. What became clear is that there is very little in the way of a generally accepted history for this period; rather, each ideological camp possesses its own historical interpretation of events, with obvious disparities in the stories they tell. I tried to control for misinformation by having the manuscript proofread by numerous well-informed elites who hold divergent political orientations.

Secondary sources of information were also carefully mined. All magazines commonly acknowledged to be politically important were gleaned for relevant information. Particularly careful readings were made of Rose al-Yusuf, al-Tali'a, al-Katib, al-Musawwar, al-Ahram al-Iqtisadi, and al-Da'wa. Access to the archives of the major newspapers (al-Ahram, al-Gumhurriyya, and al-Akhbar) proved very useful, and long hours were spent poring over press clippings, especially at al-Ahram.

For most of the period covered in this book, the press was under careful "supervision" by the regime. Therefore, material from the press must be viewed in a critical light. In a certain sense, however, the very act of consistent censorship itself provides interesting clues as to what kinds of . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.