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The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square (Council on Foreign Relations (Oxford))
The Struggle for Egypt 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 lynchpin 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 c ...more
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by OUP USA
(first published September 2nd 2011)
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Cook's history of 20th-21st century Egypt is certainly detailed and intends to paint a comprehensive picture of Egyptian politics throughout the last approximately 90 years. The writing is clear and consistent, but also sort of formulaic. I read the whole book for a class but I think it would be more useful/interesting to read if you had a specific political period or event in Egyptian history in mind. Though the book is nominally about why the January 2011 uprising occurred, there isn't much an ...more
This is a fairly comprehensive history without becoming overwhelming and bogged down by its own details. Although nominally about the 2011 protests in Egypt, this book does a better job charting the evolution of Egypt's history. If you are looking for a book explaining the Arab Spring, this is not it; if you are looking for a book to explain the forces behind and parallels to that Egyptian uprising, this is your book.
This was a very good history of 20-21st century Egypt. I learned a lot, particularly about the colonial and the Nasser eras. The writing was good (though not great) and it did a great job of filing in some of the gaps in my knowledge about Egyptian history. I would have liked a bit more detail about the recent revolution, but that's a big ask of a historian for an event that took place so recently.