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This essential book explores the early years of military rule following the Free Officers' coup of 1952. Enriched by interviews with actors in and observers of the events, Nasser's Blessed Movement shows how the officers' belief in a quick reformation by force was transformed into a vital, long-term process that changed the face of Egypt. Under Gamal Abdel Nasser, the military regime launched an ambitious program of political, social, and economic reform. Egypt became a leader in Arab and non-aligned politics, as well as a model for political mobilization and national development throughout the Third World. Although Nasser exerted considerable personal influence over the course of events, his rise as a national and regional hero in the mid-1950s was preceded by a period in which he and his colleagues groped for direction, and in which many Egyptians disliked-even feared-them. Joel Gordon analyzes the goals, programs, successes, and failures of the young regime, providing the most comprehensive account of the Egyptian revolution to date.
Joel Gordon is professor of history and director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Arkansas.