Book launch event: ‘The Egyptians: A Radical Story’

Picture: Hossam el-Hamalawy

Protesters call for Marshal Tantawi to go, November 2011: Hossam el-Hamalawy

Join author Jack Shenker and guest speakers Maha Abdelrahman (University of Cambridge) and Sameh Naguib (SOAS), to mark the release of The Egyptians: A Radical Story and discuss revolution and counter-revolution in Egypt, five years on from when the anti-Mubarak uprising began.

Hosted by Egypt Solidarity Initiative and SOAS Unison

Wednesday, 27 January 2016, 7pm
Djam Lecture Theatre, SOAS – Russell Square. London WC1H 0XG

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In his new book The Egyptians, Jack Shenker – award-winning journalist and former Egypt correspondent for The Guardian – argues that Egypt’s revolutionary turmoil has been deliberately misunderstood and the aim of this deception has been to sanitize the revolution and divest it of its radical potential. Shenker believes that although the twists and turns of the battle for formal political rule over the past few years are important, they are animated by something much deeper and much more profound: a major disruption in the relationship between society and the state.

The Egyptians argues that the tumult that Egypt has been plunged into since 2011 is the consequence, to a large degree, of a particular economic orthodoxy – one that has seen the aggressive commodification and privatisation of social goods that were once held in common – and of the state violence needed to enforce that orthodoxy. The ways in which Egyptians have been excluded from their own resources mirror the ways in which free market dogma have excluded many of us all over the world from our own resources.

Read more and pre-order online here

Advance praise for The Egyptians:

“This superbly written book documents the great victories – and terrible setbacks – of a people thirsting for democracy and social justice. A courageous writer who gives voice to the hopes and fears of the people of Egypt”

Owen Jones, author of The Establishment

‘I started reading this and couldn’t stop. It’s a remarkable piece of work, and very revealing. A stirring rendition of a people’s revolution… as the popular forces that Shenker vividly depicts carry forward their many and varied struggles, with radical potential that extends far beyond Egypt’

Noam Chomsky

‘Shenker’s book understands the Egyptian Spring, and the counter-strikes against it, as a deeper social process that, far from being over, will continue driving revolutionary upheaval in the years to come. He reframes political events as the products of social and technological change. And, above all, he refuses to give up hope. This is the deepest and most comprehensive account of Egypt’s revolution in the English language, and it will set the agenda for debate throughout the Arab world’

Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism

‘Jack Shenker cuts through the complacent clichés and self-flattering illusions of foreign correspondents and experts to produce an intimate and comprehensive portrait of contemporary Egypt, which is as historically informed as it is politically shrewd’

Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire

‘Essential reading for those who want to go beyond the conventional wisdom and understand the real causes of upheaval in the Arab world’

Lindsey Hilsum, author of Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution

Jack Shenker is a journalist based in London and Cairo, whose reporting has spanned the globe. Formerly Egypt correspondent for The Guardian, his coverage of the Egyptian revolution received multiple prizes. In 2012, his investigation into the deaths of African migrants in the Mediterranean was named news story of the year at the prestigious One World media awards.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 from 19:00 to 21:00 (GMT) Add to Calendar
Djam Lecture Theatre, SOAS – Russell Square. London WC1H 0XG GB – View Map