Nasser’s Blessed Movement: Egypt’s Free Officers and the July Revolution

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By: Joel Gordon

Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2016. 280 pp. $24.95, ISBN: 978-9774167782

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Sanford R. Silverburg, Ph.D

Catawba College

Salisbury, NC

A particularly intense history of Egypt’s revolution conducted by a group of army officers in July 1952.  This is an updated version of the study conducted by the author now with the perspective of a post 9/11 observation position and the availability of newly released archival materials.  We know the military officers took over from the Egyptian pasha elite and the parliamentary system without understanding the unintended consequences of the political forces essential in the governing process.  This is the work of a political and cultural historian of modern Egypt at the University of Arkansas, well versed in modern and contemporary Egyptian history. It is not necessarily a biographical analysis of Gamal Abdel Nasser, but delves far deeper into the intricacies of the governing processes in Egypt following the coup d’etat.  Although this is an historical treatment of a momentous period in modern Egypt, it is a real contribution to comparative politics, especially to help in understanding civil-military relations. In any case, there is a full focus on the role of Nasser as he led Egypt toward becoming a leading member of the Non-Aligned Movement.  While Nasser was the eminence grise, there is a screaming need for a political biography of the revolution’s front man and first president of Egypt, Mohamed Neguib. This is an essential addition to any Middle East collection.

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