Good reportage – Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East

This book by an international correspondent for the NYT is a ground – level reporting of the events and leaders involved in the toppling of Mubarak to the election of Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood as President to the successful coup by General Sisi ending with a brief analysis of the Obama Administration ‘s culpability for the coup. The reportage is in chronological order from 14 Aug 2010 to 1 June 2017.

As a book of reportage David Kirkpatrick has written an excellent book. You will know the major events and the roles played by the ordinary Egyptians, the Moslem Brotherhood, the Salafis, the judges, the police and the military. If you need a good overview this book is for you.

Readers looking for deeper analysis why Mubarak resigned, why Morsi was popularly elected as President { in fact the Moslem Brotherhood and the Salafis candidates for the newly elected Parliament after the uprising won three quarters of the votes}, why the ordinary Egyptians turned against Morsi in enough numbers to topple him and why Sisi mounted the ultimately successful coup will have to read another book. As the author said in his Notes this book is meant for the general reader. One should therefore read with caution the reviewers who proclaimed beyond what the author had set out to write. I would have like deeper analysis on the author’s value judgments that the coup is bad for the US and the ordinary Egyptians, Obama was passive { and not in favour of a coup based on democractic principle} in the face of strong support by Kerry and Hagel{ based on realpolitik} for the coup and whether the alternative of allowing Morsi to continue to govern irrationally would have been better for Egypt now that we have seen what happened in Libya and Syria where millions of innocent and highly cultured people suffered due to the Arab uprising.

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