‘Seven decades since his coup, and more than half a century since his death, the Arab peoples have scarcely begun to shake off the legacy of “Father” Gamal Abdel Nasser,’ as the sweeping regional history of Egypt’s former president concludes. Nasser was certainly an iconic figure whose persona shaped modern Egypt, but his influence went well beyond his country and extended across the Arab world, as well as across Africa. The history of Nasserism as non-Egyptians experienced it, is not fully appreciated enough and Alex Rowell’s new book We Are Your Soldiers: How Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser Remade the Arab World ambitiously aims to give us a taste of what that history looks like. While Nasser is not the only factor, Rowell argues, he is a critical figure in the development of authoritarian systems across the Arab region. Not only did many Arab dictators model themselves on him but, during his reign, Nasser actively intervened in a number of Arab countries and helped to produce those governing systems, which the region is still dealing with today.
Source : MEMO