'a very impressive research effort into the early years of the Muslim Brothers, Lia relies on new sources and deep knowledge of his subjects.' Middle East Quarterly "Because the author, more so than previous studies, has researched a great variety of documents on the Muslim Brotherhood...he has achieved an analysis of the period 1928-1936 hitherto not available in this depth...provides new knowledge not only on the rise of Islam, but also on its ability to persist in spite of massive repression.' Edition Wuqf 'a careful and scholarly account which contains much information not available to early writers...the historical rather than the ideological fully emerges for the first time.' World without Frontiers (BBC Radio Arabic Programme) 'a fresh reassessment of the growth of the Muslim Brothers, drawing on a wealth of recently discovered documents.' Jerusalem Post
Following the remarkable resurgence of Islamic political activism in recent decades, radical Islamist movements now have a presence in almost every Muslim country and form the major opposition forces to the established regimes in the Middle East. This important book deepens our understanding of the influence of contemporary Islamism by providing the first definitive history of the meteoric rise of the mother organization of all modern Islamist movements, the Society of the Muslim Brothers. Founded in 1928 by a young primary schoolteacher, Hasan al-Banna, the Society rose to become the largest mass movement in modern Egyptian history in less than two decades, clashing with the ruling elite on a wide range of issues.
Drawing on a wealth of new sources which include material by the Society's veterans and dissidents, the Society's internal publications from the 1930s and early 1940s, a collection of Hasan al-Banna's letters to his father and security files from the Egyptian National Archives, Brynjar Lia examines the socio-economic and cultural factors which facilitated the movement's expansion and analyses the keys to its success - its organization, internal structure, modes of action and recruitment techniques as well as its ideological and class appeal.