From award-winning journalist Jack Shenker, The Egyptians is the essential book about Egypt and radical politics
In early 2011, Cairo's Tahrir Square briefly commanded the attention of the world. Half a decade later, the international media has largely moved on from Egypt's explosive cycles of revolution and counter-revolution - but the Arab World's most populous nation remains as volatile as ever, its turmoil intimately bound up with forms of authoritarian power and grassroots resistance that stretch right across the globe.
In The Egyptians: A Radical Story, Jack Shenker uncovers the roots of the uprising that succeeded in toppling Hosni Mubarak, one of the Middle East's most entrenched dictators, and explores a country now divided between two irreconcilable political orders. Challenging conventional analyses that depict contemporary Egypt as a battle between Islamists and secular forces, The Egyptians illuminates other, far more important fault lines: the far-flung communities waging war against transnational corporations, the men and women fighting to subvert long-established gender norms, the workers dramatically seizing control of their own factories, and the cultural producers (novelists, graffiti artists and illicit bedroom DJs) appropriating public space in defiance of their repressive and increasingly violent western-backed regime.
Situating the Egyptian revolution in its proper context - not as an isolated event, but as an ongoing popular struggle against a certain model of state authority and economic exclusion that is replicated in different forms around the world - The Egyptians explains why the events of the past five years have proved so threatening to elites both inside Egypt and abroad. As Egypt's rulers seek to eliminate all forms of dissent, seeded within the rebellious politics of Egypt's young generation are big ideas about democracy, sovereignty, social justice and resistance that could yet change the world.