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Revolutions are difficult to understand and almost impossible to predict. Egypt's 2011 revolt was no exception. The military's abandonment of Mubarak-a turning point for the revolt-confounded many observers, who assumed that the leader and the generals stood or fell together. The officers, it was thought, ruled from behind the scenes and simply swapped the figures in the spotlight to preserve the status quo.
In a challenge to this conventional view, Hazem Kandil presents the revolution as the latest episode in an ongoing power struggle between the three components of Egypt's authoritarian regime: the military, the security services, and the political apparatus. A detailed study of the interactions within this invidious triangle over six decades of war, conspiracy, and sociopolitical transformation, Soldiers, Spies, and Statesmen is the first systematic analysis of how Egypt metamorphosed from a military into a police state-and what that means for the future of its revolution.
Hazem Kandil is a Lecturer in Sociology and St. Catharine's College Fellow at Cambridge University. He has also taught at the American University in Cairo and the University of California, Los Angeles.
"Soldiers, Spies and Statesmen serves as an indispensable read for anyone seeking clarity on the ongoing struggle between the military, security and political apparatuses of Egypt's autocracy."-World Policy Journal
"Hazem Kandil has written a brilliant revisionist account of the origins of the Egyptian Revolution. He focuses on how the regime's repressive forces fell apart, making revolution possible. I found it eye-opening and convincing-a triumph."-Michael Mann, author of The Dark Side of Democracy
"This is a fascinating book that should be required reading for anybody interested in Egypt's past and what happens next. It gives a unique insight into what the military and security forces were thinking and doing, and why they were not the monolithic force that most had imagined."-Patrick Cockburn, author of The Occupation
"Meticulous documentation, engaging style and skilful weaving of complex phenomena into a coherent narrative."-Times Higher Education
"By placing the struggle between the military, security forces, and the presidency at the heart of Egyptian politics and then mining a rich trove of relevant information, Kandil provides the most coherent, persuasive account available-from the rise of Nasser to the fall of Mubarak."-Robert Springborg, Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School
"The best account of Egypt's central power structure in the last two decades."-Roger Owen, author of The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life
"If you want to understand the underlying forces and mechanisms of Egypt's recent revolutionary turmoil, you couldn't find a more informative book than this ... an invaluable contribution to our understanding of Middle Eastern political and our comprehension of its mechanism of revolutionary change in general."-Morning Star