Michael Burleigh


Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution


Palgrave Macmillan 256pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Countless foreign tourists visit Egypt each year, dodging the importuning hawkers to trudge round Cairo’s marvellous Egyptian Museum or the Pyramids of Giza, towards which the city’s housing sprawl approaches. The city of twenty million runs the whole gamut from luxury apartments to sewerless slums in which there are some one million homeless ‘street children’. Everywhere the tourist ventures there are men in dark suits from which the clips of submachine guns protrude when they sit for a break, interspersed with the more lackadaisical Antiquities Police in white uniforms with a cigarette in one hand, rifle in the other. Along the capital’s Nile embankments, practically every street corner has a metal shield with a small aperture cut into it, behind which sit more men with guns, whom you will again encounter in more discreet guise after passing through the metal detectors in the entrances of the better hotels in the city.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • One woman 'travelled round the south of India with a retinue of 750 people, fourteen elephants, two racing camels f… ,
    • Stuck for a gift idea for Father's Day? Subscribe to Literary Review and get a FREE copy of 'An Impeccable Spy' –… ,
    • 'Gone. All gone. The ease, the pleasure, the effortless eloquence' From May 1995, Margaret Forster's withering rev… ,
    • RT : SO excited to tell you about this event! 😆 The amazing digital colourist, will be joining w… ,
    • 'Peters was unashamed and evidently unshamable, an impostor who wholly inhabited his fabrications and who indignant… ,
    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,