The Arab Republic of Egypt, with around 85 million inhabitants, is the second most populous African country. Located mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula stretching into Asia, and bordering the Mediterranean (north), the Red Sea (east), Sudan (south), Libya (west), and the Gaza Strip and Israel (northeast), Egypt covers an area of approximately 387,000 square miles. Most of this area is desert, so the population tends to be concentered in the fertile land in the Delta and around the banks of the Nile. Roughly 43 percent of the population is urban, with Cairo being the largest city in the country. Most of Egypt’s population is Sunni Muslim, with 10 to 12 percent Coptic Christian. Egypt was occupied by the British from 1882 until 1922. Modern Egypt became a republic after the 1952 revolution, led by a group of young Egyptian military officers (the Free Officers), ended the rule of monarchy and the de facto British control of the country. Since then and until 2012, Egypt has been ruled by three presidents, all of whom were strongly affiliated with the army and who exercised tremendous power. After the 25 January 2011 Revolution, Egypt has moved to the direct election of the president, currently Muhammad Morsi, who is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt has been the center of numerous studies that explored its very long history and dynamic political, social, and cultural systems. The many studies that focus on ancient Egypt will be covered in a separate bibliography. This section includes references that offer general overviews of the country’s recent history and explore its broader economic and political systems and transformations. Goldschmidt and Johnston 2013 offers a synopsis of the modern history of Egypt, while Goldschmidt 2004 provides biographical information about key players in Egyptian recent history. Sayyid-Marsot 2007 offers a short and accessible history of Egypt from the 7th century CE until the early 2000s. Vatikiotis 2012 is a survey of the major changes Egypt witnessed since the 1952 revolution. The Economist Intelligence Unit reports offer regular updates on the economic and political situation in Egypt. El-Mahdi 2009 presents a collection of articles about recent transformation in Egyptian life. The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) offers updated statistics about the country’s population, economy, education, and transportation.
Offers statistical data (in English and Arabic) about Egypt’s population, housing, economy, transportation, trade, education, and culture.
EIU’s reports and profiles offer regular analysis of the economic and political aspects of life in Egypt, including useful information about the population and its distribution, main economic activities, income distribution, and changes to the political system.
Goldschmidt, Arthur, Jr. Biographical Dictionary of Modern Egypt. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2004.
Offers biographical information for more than four hundred influential men and women, including politicians, artists, writers, and religious leaders, who played an important role in Egypt’s recent history.
Goldschmidt, Arthur, Jr., and Robert Johnston. Historical Dictionary of Egypt. 4th ed. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2013.
A clearly written reference book that offers an overview of Egyptian modern history. It covers major political transformations, figures, and institutions, with a focus on the post-independence period. It includes a chronology of important events, useful maps, and a bibliography.
el-Mahdi, Rabab, and Philip Marfleet, eds. Egypt: The Moment of Change. London: Zed Books, 2009.
Written by academics and activists, this collection offers insights into the major economic, political, and social challenges that faced the regime of Hosni Mubarak (b. 1928). Topics covered include state and society, economic policies, the land and the people, and protest movements.
Sayyid-Marsot, Afaf Lutfi. A History of Egypt: From the Arab Conquest to the Present. 2d ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
An informative and concise introduction to the modern history of Egypt. It covers the period from 639 CE until the early 2000s. It includes a select helpful bibliography with short annotations.
Vatikiotis, P. J., ed. Egypt since the Revolution. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis, 2012.
A collection of articles that map the political, economic, cultural, literary, and intellectual developments in Egypt since the 1952 revolution. It has a section about Western views of this revolution and a bibliographical survey.
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- Achebe, Chinua
- Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
- Aid and Economic Development
- Arabic Language and Literature
- Archaeology and the Study of Africa
- Archaeology of Central Africa
- Archaeology of Eastern Africa
- Archaeology of Southern Africa
- Art, Art History, and the Study of Africa
- Arts of Central Africa
- Arts of Western Africa
- Asante and the Akan and Mossi States
- Bantu Expansion
- Benin (Dahomey)
- Botswana (Bechuanaland)
- Brink, André
- British Colonial Rule in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Burkina Faso (Upper Volta)
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Children and Childhood
- China in Africa
- Christianity, African
- Coetzee, J.M.
- Colonial Rule, Belgian
- Colonial Rule, French
- Colonial Rule, German
- Colonial Rule, Italian
- Colonial Rule, Portuguese
- Communism, Marxist-Leninism, and Socialism in Africa
- Comoro Islands
- Congo, Republic of (Congo Brazzaville)
- Congo River Basin States
- Conservation and Wildlife
- Crime and the Law in Colonial Africa
- Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)
- Development of Early Farming and Pastoralism
- Diaspora, Kongo Atlantic
- Disease and African Society
- Early States And State Formation In Africa
- Early States of the Western Sudan
- Economy, Informal
- Education and the Study of Africa
- Egypt, Ancient
- Environmental History
- Equatorial Guinea
- Ethnicity and Politics
- Europe and Africa, Medieval
- Family Planning
- Farah, Nuruddin
- Food and Food Production
- Fugard, Athol
- Genocide in Rwanda
- Geography and the Study of Africa
- Gikuyu (Kikuyu) People of Kenya
- Gordimer, Nadine
- Great Lakes States of Eastern Africa, The
- Health, Medicine, and the Study of Africa
- Historiography and Methods of African History
- History and the Study of Africa
- Ijo/Niger Delta
- Image of Africa, The
- Indian Ocean and Middle Eastern Slave Trades
- Indian Ocean Trade
- Invention of Tradition
- Iron Working and the Iron Age in Africa
- Islam in Africa
- Islamic Politics
- Kongo and the Coastal States of West Central Africa
- Language and the Study of Africa
- Literature and the Study of Africa
- Lord's Resistance Army
- Maasai and Maa-Speaking Peoples of East Africa, The
- Mau Mau
- Media and Journalism
- Military History
- Modern African Literature in European Languages
- Music, Dance, and the Study of Africa
- Music, Traditional
- Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
- North Africa from 600 to 1800
- North Africa to 600
- Northeastern African States, c. 1000 BCE-1800 CE
- Obama and Kenya
- Oman, the Gulf, and East Africa
- Oral and Written Traditions, African
- Police and Policing
- Political Science and the Study of Africa
- Political Systems, Precolonial
- Popular Culture and the Study of Africa
- Popular Music
- Population and Demography
- Postcolonial Sub-Saharan African Politics
- Sao Tomé and Príncipe
- Seychelles, The
- Slave Trade, Atlantic
- Slavery in Africa
- Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Study of Africa
- South Africa Post c. 1850
- Southern Africa to c. 1850
- States of the Zimbabwe Plateau and Zambezi Valley
- Sudan and South Sudan
- Swahili City States of the East African Coast
- Swahili Language and Literature
- Tanzania (Tanganyika and Zanzibar)
- Traditional Religion, African
- Trans-Saharan Trade
- Urbanism and Urbanization
- Wars and Warlords
- Western Sahara
- Women and African History
- Women and Colonialism
- Women and Politics
- Women and Slavery
- Women, Gender and the Study of Africa
- Women in 19th-Century West Africa
- Yoruba Language and Literature
- Yoruba States, Benin, and Dahomey