The unfolding of events leading up to the overthrow of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, including a detailed account of the build-up to revolution and how recent developments were organized.
Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Cook (Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria and Turkey, 2007), who is intimately familiar with Egypt and its political and cultural history, begins from Nasser's 1952 coup, providing broad context for his discussion. He duly investigates the many strands of Egypt's religious, military and political history, in particular since the British bought the Suez Canal Company from its French owners at the end of the 19th century. Cook also focuses on the relationship between Islam and Egypt's military, demonstrating how U.S. policies have been spread through the Middle East by the Agency for International Development, working with the Egyptian government's institutions. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is the main concern, since it has provided a core of personnel for al-Qaeda's terror operations around the world, including 9/11. Cook also profiles the secular opposition, which has been increasing, and the factors that contributed to the Tahrir Square demonstrations.
A nice complement to Lloyd Gardner's similar book, The Road to Tahrir Square (2011), though Cook is more concerned with internal than international dynamics.