IN SEARCH OF IDENTITY: An Autobiography by Anwar Sadat
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Egypt's President Sadat presents his case in print to the American public. Mixing introspection with a chronicle of modern Egyptian history, he recounts his--and Egypt's--struggle against occupation by Britain, the Soviet Union, and Israel; his benign support of Nasser's tyranny while a member of the Free Officers Association; and his own struggle to work out what he sees as his destiny--to lead Egyptians to a modern civilization ""comparable to the one they erected thousands of years ago."" Detaching himself from Nasser's ""legacy of hate,"" he stresses his firm belief in the dignity of man, his identification as a peasant with the land, his profound religious faith--solid values which he admires in America as well. Consequently, it is to the US that he turns for help in solving the Middle East dispute when power is thrust upon him in 1970, and subsequently in formulating peace plans. Having achieved inner peace and a sense of mission--which he partly attributes to a Reader's Digest article read in a British jail in the 1940s (he had tried to relay British positions to Rommel)--Sadat is ready in the 1970s to break the ""psychological barrier"" and embark on his ""road to peace"" after ousting the Soviets and redeeming Egypt's honor in the 1973 war. He pleads for objectivity and American serf-interest in its assessment of foreign policy, but nonetheless skews his own descriptions of some events, most prominently the 1967 Israeli victory and the 1973 cease-fire. (His interpretations differ from those of both his confidant Mohamed Heikal and political scientist Nadav Safran.) But whatever his slant, whatever his purposes, Sadat's autobiography is critical for understanding his leadership role.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1978
ISBN: 1568492774
Publisher: Harper & Row