EGYPT, THE CRUCIBLE: The Unfinished Revolution in the Arab World by Harry Hopkins

EGYPT, THE CRUCIBLE: The Unfinished Revolution in the Arab World

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hopkins is a British journalist and author of the well-received study The New Look: A Social History of the Forties and Fifties in Britain (1964). Here he presents a lengthy compilation of travel impressions, quantitative facts, and editorial wrapups whose recurrent if inadequately unifying theme is progress--a cheerful bustling landscape of electricity, liberated women, village co-operatives, desert reclamation, schools and consumer industry. Hopkins describes Egypt's economy in rather Fabian terms, and points to ideological eclecticism, market and technocratic features, and antagonism to class alignments as features of ""Arab Socialism."" The book is punctuated by references to ""the puzzled. Western observer"" who Hopkins assumes tends to view Arabs as non-people. Further, he insists that to designate the regime as ""Arabized Titoism"" is condescending. But however well-intentioned its effort to praise Nasser's accomplishments, the book displays a graver condescension in understating the remaining problems of industrial growth, the army's drain on economic surplus, population growth and rural starvation. Flashbacks of Arab-Zionist relations and Egypt's regional ties are interpolated. But this is basically a spruce travelogue which some will find too hard on the feet and the purse.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1969
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin