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Martyrs and Tricksters: An Ethnography of…

Martyrs and Tricksters: An Ethnography of the Egyptian Revolution…

by Walter Armbrust

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115,842,887 (3.5)None
The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 began with immense hope, but was defeated in two and a half years, ushering in the most brutal and corrupt regime in modern Egyptian history. How was the passage from utmost euphoria into abject despair experienced, not only by those committed to revolutionary change, but also by people indifferent or even hostile to the revolution? In Martyrs and tricksters, anthropologist and Cairo resident Walter Armbrust explores the revolution through the lens of liminality - initially a communal fellowship, where everything seemed possible, transformed into a devastating limbo with no exit. To make sense of events, Armbrust looks at the martyrs, trickster media personalities, public spaces, contested narratives, historical allusions, and factional struggles during this chaotic time. Armbrust shows that while martyrs became the primary symbols of mobilization, no one took seriously enough the emergence of political tricksters. Tricksters appeared in media - not the vaunted social media of a "Facebook revolution" but television - and they paved the way for the rise of Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi. In the end Egypt became a global political vanguard, but not in the way the revolutionaries intended. What initially appeared as the gateway to an age of revolution has transformed the world over into the age of the trickster. Delving into how Egyptians moved from unprecedented exhilaration to confusion and massacre, Martyrs and tricksters is a powerful cultural biography of a tragic revolution.… (more)
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Analysis of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution through the lens of liminality and trickster motifs. Not necessarily effective at simply constructing a straightforward narrative of events, so the reader may be well served to approach this book already familiar with the main sequence and characters.

This book then can put an interpretive gloss on those prior facts. At that point, the book offers a first-hand view of some of the major episodes which at times can be most insightful. The parallels the author draws between the tricksterism of Sisi and Trump are especially intriguing. ( )
  dono421846 | Dec 10, 2019 |
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