Into the Hands of the Soldiers
Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East
HISTORY / Middle East / Egypt
Jul 02, 2019
5.43 x 8.37 x 0.76 in
1 B/W MAP
- Author Bio
A candid narrative of how and why the Arab Spring sparked, then failed, and the truth about America’s role in that failure and the subsequent military coup that put Sisi in power—from the Middle East correspondent of the New York Times.
In 2011, Egyptians of all sects, ages, and social classes shook off millennia of autocracy, then elected a Muslim Brother as president. The 2013 military coup replaced him with a new strongman, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has cracked down on any dissent or opposition with a degree of ferocity Mubarak never dared. Kirkpatrick arrived in Egypt with his family less than six months before the uprising first broke out in 2011, looking for a change from life in Washington, D.C. As revolution and violence engulfed the country, he received an unexpected and immersive education in the Arab world.
For centuries, Egypt has set in motion every major trend in politics and culture across the Middle East, from independence and Arab nationalism to Islamic modernism, political Islam, and the jihadist thought that led to Al Qaeda and ISIS. The Arab Spring revolts of 2011 spread from Cairo, and now Americans understandably look with cynical exasperation at the disastrous Egyptian experiment with democracy. They fail to understand the dynamic of the uprising, the hidden story of its failure, and Washington’s part in that tragedy. Juxtaposing his on-the-ground experience in Cairo with new reporting on the conflicts within the Obama administration, Kirkpatrick traces how authoritarianism was allowed to reclaim Egypt after thirty months of turmoil.
Into the Hands of the Soldiers is a heartbreaking story with a simple message: The failings of decades of autocracy are the reason for the chaos we see today across the Arab world. Because autocracy is the problem, more autocracy is unlikely to provide a durable solution. Egypt, home to one in four Arabs, is always a bellwether. Understanding its recent history is essential to understanding everything taking place across the region today—from the terrorist attacks in the North Sinai and Egypt’s new partnership with Israel to the bedlam in Syria and Libya.
HARDCOVER PUBLICATION: The hardcover received great reviews in The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times Book Review.
NEWS BREAKING REPORTING: First book to tackle the events surrounding the Sisi coup, including key decisions disagreements inside the Obama White House and new reporting on the US intelligence about the coup.
KEY AMERICAN INTERESTS: $70 billion in US military aid to Egypt over the year has made the country resemble a subsidiary of the US government.
MAKING SENSE OUT OF CHAOS: Autocracy is the problem—- whether for the plight of women and Christians, for economic development, for the security of Israel, for outbreaks of sectarian violence, or for the struggle against violent extremism.
Marketing: Social media and online promotion
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Publicity: New in paperback media attention
Author Social Media: Twitter: @ddknyt
Praise for Into the Hands of the Soldiers:
“Engrossing…[Kirkpatrick] brings two new contributions to his retelling…The Times’s extraordinary access to decision makers…[and] his willingness to plunge into the messy, sprawling street violence, and show how each side could perceive itself a victim and step up its own provocative tactics in response.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A first-hand account of the failure of democracy to take root in Egypt and the region…Kirkpatrick grapples thoughtfully with events he witnessed…[and] meticulously chronicles Mubarak’s downfall and the coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi barely a year after he took office in 2012.”—The Guardian