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Award-winning journalist Thanassis Cambanis tells the “wonderfully readable and insightful” (Booklist, starred review) inside story of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
Cambanis brings to life the noble dreamers who brought Egypt to the brink of freedom, and the dark powerful forces that—for the time being—stopped them short. But he also tells a universal story of inspirational people willing to transform themselves in order to transform their society. He focuses on two pivotal leaders: One is Basem, an apolitical middle-class architect who puts his entire family in danger when he seizes the chance to improve his country. The other is Moaz, a contrarian Muslim Brother who defies his own organization to join the opposition.
These revolutionaries had little more than their idealism with which to battle the secret police, the old oligarchs, and a power-hungry military determined to keep control. Basem wanted to change the system from within and became one of the only revolutionaries to win a seat in parliament. Moaz took a different course, convinced that only street pressure from youth movements could dismantle the old order. Their courageous and imperfect decisions produced an uprising with one enduring outcome: No Arab leader ever again can take the population’s consent for granted.
Once Upon a Revolution is “a welcome addition to the literature on Egypt’s uprising” (Library Journal). Featuring exclusive and distinctive reporting, Thanassis Cambanis’s “fluent, intelligent, and highly informed book…convincingly explains what happened in Egypt over the last four years” (The New York Times Book Review).