Labour Research March 2016


The Egyptians 

A radical story

Jack Shenker, Allen Lane, 544 pages, £15.99

Journalist Jack Shenker, formerly Egypt correspondent for The Guardian, examines the people’s revolution that swept Hosni Mubarak — one of the Middle East’s most entrenched dictators — from power. Shenker writes: “Egypt’s revolution has been misunderstood, and a great deal of that misunderstanding had been deliberate.

“An upheaval that began on 25 January 2011, and will continue for years to come, has been framed deceptively by elites both within Egypt’s borders and beyond. Their aim has been to sanitise the revolution and divest it of its radical potential.”

The book challenges conventional analyses depicting contemporary Egypt as a civil war between Islamists and secular forces, pointing instead to “marginalised citizens muscling their way on to the political stage”. It situates the revolution in its proper context — not as an isolated event, but as an ongoing popular struggle against a model of state authority and economic exclusion replicated around the world. 

“The Egyptians” review was contributed by the Bookmarks socialist bookshop.

Order online at