One of the most momentous events in the Arab uprisings that swept across the Middle East in 2011 was the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. As dramatic and sudden as this seemed, it was only one further episode in an ongoing power struggle between the three components of Egypt’s authoritarian regime: the military, the security services, and the government. A detailed study of the interactions within this invidious triangle over six decades of war, conspiracy, and sociopolitical transformation, Soldiers, Spies, and Statesmen is the first systematic analysis of recent Egyptian history.
This paperback edition, updated to incorporate events in 2013, provides the background necessary to understanding how the military rebranded itself as the defender of democracy and ousted Mubarak’s successor, Muhammad Morsi. Impeccably researched and filled with intrigue, Soldiers, Spies, and Statesmen is an indispensable guide for anyone trying to fathom what this latest development means for Egypt’s future.
“This is a fascinating book that should be required reading for anybody interested in Egypt’s past and what happens next. It gives a unique insight into what the military and security forces were thinking and doing, and why they were not the monolithic force that most had imagined.”
“Hazem Kandil’s important book … effectively rewrites the inner history of the Free Officers’ state and his book deserves to spark sustained debate. It provides an exceptionally detailed account of the endless power struggle… and offers startling new accounts of the major crises.”
“An indispensable read for anyone seeking clarity on the ongoing struggle between the military, security and political apparatuses of Egypt’s autocracy.”
“Meticulous documentation, engaging style and skilful weaving of complex phenomena into a coherent narrative.”
“At last comes a book which links the coups and revolutions witnessed by father and son. The Cambridge sociologist Hazem Kandil has produced a compelling history of Egypt’s 60-year power struggle. It is a tale of ruinous incompetence and staggering venality which consumes the country to this day. Unlike the modern-era pharaohs responsible, this book takes no prisoners. Beginning with Nasser, this is a withering denunciation of Egypt’s myth-makers and their phoney myths.”