I can't praise this book enough. It's a portrait of Egyptian society published in 2009 and so accurate is it that it describes precisely the causes of the Egyptian revolution of early 2011. If you want to understand the Egyptian revolution, then this is the book.
It's a series of well written, short essays which tackle topics related to Egyptian society, economics and politics. These essays address all the issues which the Egyptian activists in Tahrir Square addressed: the way the state controls society and limits freedom of the press and speech, neo-liberal, free market economics which lead to the impoverishment of large numbers of Egyptians and the enrichment of a few coupled with outrageous corruption, the theft of land from peasants by landlords and their hired thugs, the strike movements of the last few years and the emergence of free trades unions, the emergence of a democracy movement, an accurate and nuanced analysis of Islamist movements, the systematic use of torture as state policy and Egypt as a sub-contracted torturer for the US and the role that Mubarak plays(ed) internationally as an American and Israeli ally and as a policeman of the Palestinians.
Reading a book such as this, makes you realise that much of the media coverage of the recent events in Egypt has been poorly informed and, hence, poorly informing.
I couldn't recommend a book more than this one. This is the book for getting to grips with current events.
I initially bought this book for my BA dissertation and found it highly useful. However it is a book that should not just be read by students or those with an interest in Egyptian politics. This book is a collection of different essays and is a must for anyone that wants to understand the causes of the Egyptian Revolution.
It's amazing how this book, published at the end of 2009, explains in detail what will happen in Egypt more than a year down the line from writing. Unbelievably, the editors called it 'Moment of Change', as if somehow clairevoyant. This book answered all my questions on why things in Egypt happened the way they did, where the justified anger of the people of Egypt came from, and why it all exploded now. A brilliant collection.