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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $154.00

272 pp.
162 mm x 241 mm


Publication date:
April 1999

Imprint: OUP US

Nasser's Blessed Movement

Egypt's Free Officers and the July Revolution

Joel Gordon

Series : Studies in Middle Eastern History

This book examines a key period in the formation of modern Egypt, the early years of military rule following the coup of 1952. The Free Officers, a secret organization of junior officers, overthrew Egypt's parliamentary regime in July 1952 and over the next few years consolidated their rule, brutally suppressing alternative political movements. Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the young officers, emerged as the leader of the military junta and launched an ambitious program for economic development, making Egypt a leader in Arab, African, and non-aligned politics, as well as a model for political mobilization and national development throughout the Third World. Focusing on the goals, programs, successes, and failures of the young regime, Gordon provides the most comprehensive account of the Egyptian revolution to date. Besides bringing to light newly opened American and British sources on the period, Gordon's book is also informed by interviews he conducted with a number of actors and observers of the events.


  • "Joel Gordon's new book will likely become the standard work on the early years of military rule in Egypt....a carefully researched and original view of the period."--American Historical Review
  • "An important contribution."--Digest of Middle East Studies
  • "May become the standard account of the period....A welcome and needed corrective to previous studies of a tumultuous period."--Choice
  • "Perceptive and extremely well-researched."--Times Literary Supplement
  • "Gordon provides us with a fascinating account of the Egyptian revolution. The author has written a copiously documented book and makes sound use of newly classified American and Bristish archives on the period."--Central Asian Survey
  • "Well-researched and dispassionate....It is good to be reminded through Gordon's detailed study of this period, how provisional, extempore and contingent the works of politics and history are."--Times Higher Education Supplement
  • "Masterly....Relying on recently opened archives, interviews, and a flood of Egyptian memoirs, he makes sense of those tumultous months...With literary grace and fine historical sensitivity, he explains how the decay of liberalism made Egypt ripe for drastic reform, and how Nassar filled the aching need for a "just tyrant."--Orbis
  • "Gordon has contributed an intelligent and elegant book, fascinating in the tale it tells and impressive in the breadth of coverage of all the available sources."--International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • "Elegantly written."--Middle East Journal

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Joel Gordon is at Franklin and Marshall College.

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