A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year
In the century since the Muslim Brotherhood first emerged in Egypt, its idea of “the West” has remained a key driver of its behavior. From its founding, the Brotherhood stood opposed to the British Empire and Western cultural influence. Its leaders hoped to create more pristine, authentically Islamic societies. As British power gave way to American, the Brotherhood oscillated between anxiety about the West and the need to engage with it, while American and British officials struggled to understand the group, unsure whether to shun or embrace it.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the West offers the first comprehensive history of the relationship between the world’s largest Islamist movement and the powers that have dominated the Middle East for the past hundred years. Drawing on extensive archival research in London and Washington and the Brotherhood’s writings in Arabic and English, Martyn Frampton reveals the history of this charged relationship down to the eve of the Arab Spring. What emerges is an authoritative account of a story that is crucial to understanding one of the world’s most turbulent regions.
“Rigorous yet absorbing…Fills a crucial gap in the literature and will be essential reading not just for scholars, but for anyone seeking to understand the ever-problematic relationship between religion and politics in today’s Middle East.”
“Breaks new ground by examining the links between the Egyptian Brotherhood’s relations with Britain and…the United States.”
—Times Literary Supplement
Rigorous yet absorbing… [Frampton’s] book fills a crucial gap in the literature and will be essential reading not just for scholars, but for anyone seeking to understand the ever-problematic relationship between religion and politics in today’s Middle East.
Breaks new ground by examining the links between the Egyptian Brotherhood’s relations with Britain and, when it became the chief Western influence in the Middle East soon after the Second World War, with the United States.
Frampton exhaustively chronicles the history of the Muslim Brotherhood from its founding in 1928 to the Arab Spring of 2011.
The West and the Brothers will continue to have a complex relationship. To explain that relationship, one must go beyond the rhetoric of a modernizing secular West and a conservative anti-modern Islamist trend. Frampton provides ample evidence to suggest that collision may not be inevitable, showing how it can give way to engagement and dialogue… [Full of] rich historical details of intricate relationships and intrigues.
Timely, comprehensive, detailed, and skilled, Frampton’s work will stand as the classic history of the Brotherhood’s relationship with the West.
Rigorously examined and thought-provoking. A pioneering study with a wealth of solid historical evidence.
To grasp fully the significance of what is happening in the Arab world today you need to understand political Islamism within the context of the region’s broader history. This elegant, rigorous, and timely account of Western engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood over the last 80 years is an essential aid to building understanding and dispelling confusion. Anyone who makes policy on the region should read it.
- 672 pages
- 5-3/4 x 9 inches
- Belknap Press
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