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From Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brief meeting with King Farouk near the end of World War II to Barack Obama’s Cairo Speech in 2009 and the recent fall of ...
From Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brief meeting with King Farouk near the end of World War II to Barack Obama’s Cairo Speech in 2009 and the recent fall of Mubarak—the most significant turning point in American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War—this timely new book answers the urgent question of why Egypt has mattered so much to the United States. The Road to Tahrir Square is the first book to connect past and present, offering readers today an understanding of the events and forces determining American policy in this vitally important region.
Making full use of the available records—including the controversial Wikileaks archive—renowned historian Lloyd C. Gardner shows how the United States has sought to influence Egypt through economic aid, massive military assistance, and CIA manipulations, an effort that has immediate implications for how the current crisis will alter the balance of power in the Middle East. As millions of Americans ponder how the Egyptian revolution will change the face of the region and the world, here is both a fascinating story of past policies and an essential guide to possible futures.
"This book is a clear, concise and insightful account of Egypt’s long decline, focusing on both the mistakes of its own leaders and the ignorant meddling of outside powers. It provides valuable answers to the questions many Americans asked as they watched the recent Egyptian uprising: 'Why is this happening? How did we get here? What does it mean?'"
—Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times correspondent and author of Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
"[A] thought-provoking distillation of the convoluted dealings between diplomats and governments that calls for a new tack, in which American actions finally match our rhetoric."
Solid account of Egypt's still-developing political transformation and how it has related to the United States.
Gardner (History/Rutgers Univ.; The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the Present,2010, etc.) has written extensively on the history of the Middle East, especially the time since World War II. Here he brings that experience to bear on the recent developments in Egypt and elsewhere in the region—a series of uprisings dubbed the "Arab Spring." The author examines the international exigencies that have bound proponents of national independence and self-determination in the aftermath of the war, and he situates the downfall of Hosni Mubarak in the context of the paradoxes that American policies placed on the country since the end of the war. Gardner addresses many historical and political threads, including the consequences of the collapse of the British Empire and its replacement by the U.S., which had different priorities during the Cold War, when promotion of radical Islam as a movement against communism was affected also by the need to cooperate with the British over military bases and strategy. For Egypt, this translated into a choice between leading the Arab world, or simply remaining a somewhat inconsequential Nile River Valley country. The author also looks at deeper concerns regarding the transformation of a region whose politics have been based, especially since 1947, on three differing and conflicted allies of the U.S.: Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Gardner ably pursues strategy and context as sources of political constraint and tension, providing a useful overview of Egypt's dealings with the U.S. Pair with Steven A. Cook's The Struggle for Egypt (2011), which provides greater detail on the variegated inputs at the local level.
1 Prelude: Searching for a Policy 1
2 The Nasser Gamble Fails 36
3 Eisenhower Doctrine to Six Days of War 75
4 Life with Anwar Sadat: Or a Story of Empire by Invitation 112
5 The $50 Billion Gamble: Thirty Years of Egyptian-American Co-Dependence 149
6 Arab Spring 193