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*Includes footnotes and a bibliography for further reading
“Our path to Palestine will not be covered with a red carpet or with yellow sand. Our path to Palestine will be covered with blood… In order that we may liberate Palestine, the Arab nation must unite, the Arab armies must unite, and a unified plan of action must be established.” - Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser has been called many things. The father of modern-day Egypt. The founder of Arab nationalism. The leader of the Egyptian Revolution. The second president of the Egyptian Republic. The creator of his own brand of political and social governance – Nasserism. Anthony Eden, the former British Prime Minister, called him the “Mussolini of the Nile.”
Nasser was all of these things and much more. Indeed, he led the revolution that overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and subsequently shaped and led the new Egyptian government. He became a prominent regional and world leader, playing a significant role in the Non-Alignment Movement that he co-founded, formed during the midst of the Cold War. He led his country toward modernization and industrialization, implementing social and economic reforms focused on strengthening the nation and improving the lives of the people. Yet, Nasser’s legacy goes beyond state governance and policies; his name, to this day, evokes great emotion among Egyptians and much of the Arab world. His funeral in 1970 drew millions of mourners and an outpouring of genuine grief across the Arab world. Nasser continues to remain an iconic figure in the region, symbolizing Arab dignity, pride, and unity.
In addition to working to carve a path for a new Egypt, Nasser aimed to help the rest of the Arab nations of the Middle East by uniting the historically uncooperative Arab countries and encouraging them to act as a united front. Nasser was not the first to see that Arab countries more often than not had much in common, including resources, political policies, and social structures, but he was the first to take action and work to get the Arab countries to work together. The concept of pan-Arabism that Nasser furthered during his presidency had lasting impact on the region that continued decades after his death.
As such, Gamal Abdel Nasser made a significant mark on the regional and global politics of the 20th century. Though not many were his supporters, and fewer were his friend, all were aware of his influence and capabilities. Many of the other Arab leaders of the region feared him for his eloquence and his ability to inspire millions using only words, whether written or spoken; they were afraid he would incite their own populations to revolt. In other areas of the world, the British sought ways to reestablish their dominance over the Egyptian government, the Soviets worried that their friendship with Nasser had a deadline, and the Americans worried that Nasser would turn all of the Middle East against them. And the greatest anxiety over Egypt was held by the Israelis, who feared that Nasser was the one leader who could truly unite the Arab nations against them. But everyone, from his friends and supporters to his enemies, acknowledged and respected his bravery, idealism, and devotion to his country and people.
Gamal Abdel Nasser: The Life and Legacy of Egypt’s Second President examines the life and legacy of one of the Middle East’s most influential leaders, from his early life and military career to his role in the 1952 revolution. This book also explores his turbulent presidency and his lasting legacy. Along with a bibliography and pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Nasser like never before, in no time at all.