The unanswered question accompanying almost every page of Carrie Rosefsky Wickham’s The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: Evolution of an Islamist Movement (2013) is whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood will turn out to be the solution to the country’s malaise. Wickham’s book, to be fair, was published before the majority of Egyptians, in partnership with General Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, swept Mohamed Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) from power. The reader knows what the author cannot know: the extraordinary events of July 3, 2013. What The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: Evolution of an Islamist Movement shows, however, is that an associate professor of political science in an American university can provide a most valuable compilation of names, dates and events, while remaining surprisingly obtuse about the totalitarian nature of the phenomenon she is describing. The kindest evaluation of Wickham’s tone would be “studiously detached” so that we might connect the dots for ourselves.
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