This path-breaking study of Egyptian popular culture provides fresh and vital insights into the long struggle of modern Egypt to define its identity. Dr Armbrust examines Egyptian television, recorded music, the press, and the cinema. These popular media have broken radically with cultural icons of Egypt’s past, while offering ordinary people a way of coming to terms with the clashing values of nationalism, modernity, and Arab classicism. However, since the 1970s, popular culture has also become a subject of controversy. The delicate balance between conservative nationalist imagery and a modernist ethic has been increasingly put in question by producers and consumers of the media, reflecting a sense that the representations of modernity do not reflect the experience of Egyptians.