The Quest for Modernity
Secular Liberal and Left-wing Political Thought in Egypt, 1945-1958
This book analyses the political ideologies of the several highly influential liberal, socialist and communist thinkers, groups and movements which sought to modernize Egypt after World War II. Most of the representatives of these currents intended to transform Egyptian society completely through rapid industrialization, land reforms and economic planning, which would eliminate the peasantry, rationalize the economy and create a new Egyptian citizen who would live 'in accordance with the spirit of the age'. This study explains why and how most liberal and left-wing intellectuals eventually supported the authoritarian modernization programme of the July Revolution of 1952. It gives new insights into intellectual life during one of the most optimistic periods in Egyptian history, a time when Egypt was at the height of its power and believed a whole new future lay before it, uniting the Arab world and joining Asia and Africa in the common struggle for independence and dignity.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I: The Formation of Modernist Political Thought 1. Liberal Reform: The Society of National Renaissance 2. Authoritarian Social: Rashid al-Barrawi 3. Egyptian Communism and the Paradigm of the Front Part II: The Rise of the Authoritarian Modernism 4. The Dilemmas of Reform, 1950-54 5. Towards a Modern Society, 1955-57 6. The Hegemony of Authoritarian Modernism, 1958 Conclusion