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Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution Paperback – August 18, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“If you want to understand how Egypt got to this crossroads, read this book.” ―Fareed Zakaria, recommending Inside Egypt as his Book of the Week (CNN)
“Bradley's book suggests Egypt's rupture had clear omens… and was promptly banned by the Mubarak government.” ―New Yorker
“This dark and sober look at contemporary Egypt... offers a compelling explanation for the anger on the streets of Cairo” ―The Christian Science Monitor
“A blistering overview of what it's like to live in this autocratic, hopelessly corrupt society. Terrifically well told and extremely sobering.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“An original, angry, brilliant, subtle, and highly readable exposé of contemporary Egyptian politics and society.” ―Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc. and The Osama bin Laden I Know
“Informed and immensely readable.” ―Literary Review (UK)
“Essential reading for anyone interested in modern Egypt and the looming dramas of the Arab world.” ―United Press International
“In this highly readable and thoughtful volume, Bradley provides a devastating critique of Egypt's [former] dictatorial government.” ―LIBRARY JOURNAL
About the Author
John R. Bradley is a widely published correspondent. Fluent in Egyptian Arabic, he is also the author of Saudi Arabia Exposed, Behind the Veil of Vice, and Tunisian Tsunami. He now divides his time between North Africa and Latin America.
Top Customer Reviews
Bradley lets us see Egypt in the light of its recent history. In the break-up of empires, Ottoman and British, a military clique seized the government and established party rule modeled on European dictatorships. The new home-grown dictators destroyed as much as they could of the structure of civil society and the deep religious and cultural diversity of Egypt, which they identified with opposition and a colonial past. They sought to erase history itself. Like the dictators of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, Egypt's rulers slipped steadily into corruption and terror, and are now challenged by a new, Islamist movement that threatens to repeat the cycle of violence and minority dictatorship. The liberal middle class is being steadily destroyed by pressure from both sides: anyone searching for the reason that educated, middle class youth are becoming suicide bombers and soldiers of intifada will find much of the reason in this book.Read more ›
For the most part, Bradley eschews analysis for reporting, but what he reports about is depressingly self evident given the general outline. Many of the chapters come with self explanatory titles - "Torture" and "Corruption", for example. Minorities, whether the Bedouin (in Sinai) or the Copts (in Egypt proper), are abysmally treated.
There is an interesting chapter, euphemistically titled "Lost Dignity", about the Egyptian sex industry in its various forms, particularly in that of the "marriage" of Old Western ladies to younger Egyptians, and of male prostitution. It is possibly the most penetrating part of Bradley's book, because it shows that even sex work is shaped by the cultural and religious beliefs of the Egyptians. Even as they make their livelihood from sex, Egyptians maintain a semblance, no matter how twisted, of traditional gender roles and sexual mores.
But for Westerners, most interesting is the political agenda. And Bradley is in a catch 22: his instinct, as summarized by a blurb contribution from the managing editor of Foreign Affair, is to "love [the] country but hate [the] regime". Bradley's sympathies are clearly with the Egyptian people, and against Hosni Mubarak and his government. But as Bradley acknowledges, the Egyptian people are considerably more anti-Western than the regime.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recommend this book. Most of the subjects are very actual and Mr. Badley writes in a very please way making it a very please book. Read morePublished on November 22, 2011 by Lupa
Bradley predicted the revolution in Egypt and his book is helpful background. He lived in Egypt for 10 years and is fluent in Egyptian Arabic. Read morePublished on March 29, 2011 by Golda
This book contains a large number of vignettes and encounters that are extremely useful in understanding what led to the recent demonstrations, the ouster of Mubarak, and the work... Read morePublished on March 21, 2011 by Victor A. Vyssotsky
The book has some extremely interesting anecdotes that give you a good perspective on Egypt and it dwells on some really interesting topics. Read morePublished on June 9, 2010 by Lars Stenbaek
The book described in detail the history of Egypt under the military junta that seized power since 1954, after the removal of democracy advocate Muhammad Naguib, the first... Read morePublished on May 3, 2009 by Nick
I am a college student studying the Middle East and I was in Model UN group and was Saudi Arabia when I firs discovered Bradley. Read morePublished on November 12, 2008 by Christopher M. Whitman Jr.
A great read for Anyone who wants to know the state of Egypt today. Banned in Egypt for that reason??Published on August 13, 2008 by Amr Marzouk
This is the perfect volume if you are looking for one book to read before visiting Egypt, or just to get a handle on the country. Read morePublished on June 17, 2008 by chitatel
Mr. Bradley writes a very telling portrait of modern Egypt, a country which has been ruled by a military oligarchy since 1953. Read morePublished on June 2, 2008 by James D. Crabtree