Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution

Article excerpt

Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution. John R. Bradley. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 256 pp. $24.95 ($ 1 6.95, paper).

To the general reader, Inside Egypt is a good introduction to some of the problems rife in the most populous, Arabic-speaking country. From regime corruption and oppression, to widespread poverty and discontent, to human rights abuses and the plight of Egypt's minorities, most of the important issues are here. Bradley, formerly a Middle-East-based foreign correspondent, also provides useful insights, such as how the current regime exploits the West's fear of the Muslim Brotherhood to its advantage.

Unfortunately, there is a myopic tendency to view nearly every problem in Egypt as a byproduct of Husni Mubarak, Egypt's president since 1 98 1 , and in Bradley's view, the "most corrupt offender of them all." Even things one might have supposed were products of time or chance - from the condition of Egypt's Bedouin, who have led the same desperate lifestyle for centuries, to the radicalization of Muslims, a worldwide phenomenon - are somehow traced back to Mubarak.

While the Mubarak regime is responsible for many of Egypt's woes, blaming all of the nation's problems on it is misleading. …

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