"A book that succeeds in lifting the veil on a relatively obscure chapter in modern Egyptian history and that restores the ideas and actions of a fascinating group of committed activists within the context of their times."—American Historical Review
"A valuable work that analyzes the Communist movement in Egypt."—Choice
Selma Botman examines the virtually unknown history of communism in Egypt during the twentieth-century. In an original and well-documented study, the author has traced the development of the revolutionary left using political court cases, interviews with political activists, and literature from the communist movement itself.
In the post–World War II period, Egyptian communists operated in an environment of extreme secrecy and periodic repression. While the communist movement never became a mainstream political force or had realistic capabilities for overthrowing the royalist regime, its importance and influence were much larger than its numbers imply. Egyptian Marxists had a significant ideological impact on Egyptian society, especially among the intelligentsia and to a lesser degree among trade unionists. Moreover, they were present at key moments of nationalist, student, and working-class militancy. The revolutionary left also contributed to the destabilization of the constitutional monarchy and the worn-out Wafd Party, the premier nationalist organization in Egypt, and helped pave the way for the emergence of Gamal Abdul Nasser and the Free Officers movement of 1952.
About the Author
Selma Botman is provost and vice president of academic affairs at Yeshiva University. She is the author of Egypt from Independence to Revolution, 1919–1952.
Series: Contemporary Issues in the Middle East
6 x 9, 212 pages