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Anwar al-Sadat

Transforming the Middle East

Robert L. Tignor

Publication Date - September 2015

ISBN: 9780190248987

264 pages
5 x 8 inches

In Stock

Examines the life of the first Arab leader to make peace with Israel


Part of The World in a Life series, this brief, inexpensive text provides insight into the life of Anwar al-Sadat, one of the most transformative figures in Middle Eastern and world history. Little was expected of Sadat, as he came to power after the death of Egypt's powerful modernizing leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. However, he left an unparalleled mark on Egypt, the Middle East, and Cold War relations. He surprised the Israelis by starting the 1973 war, crossing the Suez Canal into Sinai. Though eventually Egypt was forced to sue for peace, Sadat won the support and praise of the Americans. His chief American supporters at the time were President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Not content with this partial military success, Sadat traveled to Jerusalem in 1977 to address the Israeli Knesset (parliament), marking the first time that an Arab leader had traveled to Israel and openly negotiated with the Israelis. He followed this trip with a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, signed between Prime Minister Menachem Begin and himself and brokered by President Jimmy Carter. In short, Sadat broke Egypt's dependence on the Soviet Union, established strong relations with the United States, and recognized the state of Israel--all of these transformative events in Middle Eastern and world history.

We live in a global age where big concepts like "globalization" often tempt us to forget the personal side of the past. The titles in The World in a Life series aim to revive these meaningful lives. Each one shows us what it was like to live on a world historical stage. Brief, inexpensive, and thematic, each book can be read in a week, fit within a wide range of curricula, and shed insight into a particular place or time. Four to six short primary sources at the end of each volume sharpen the reader's view of an individual's impact on world history.

About the Author(s)

Robert L. Tignor is Rosengarten Professor Emeritus of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton University.


"This is a welcome contribution; it reads well and offers new insights into a pivotal historical figure, and the author has clearly enjoyed writing it. It is a terrific book for students and scholars interested in modern Egyptian history, Middle Eastern history, and the Arab-Israeli conflict."--Eve M. Troutt Powell, University of Pennsylvania

"This is an outstanding study of the life and times of Anwar al-Sadat by a scholar deeply familiar with the subject, written in a style that will engage and challenge undergraduate students."--John Calvert, Creighton University

Table of Contents

    List of Illustrations
    List of Maps
    1. The Making of a Revolutionary: 1918-1952
    2. Living with Nasser's Revolution: 1952-1967
    3. Becoming President: 1967-1973
    4. Making War: 1973-74
    5. Opening Egypt to the Outside: 1974-1977
    6. Making Peace: 1974-1979
    7. Losing Control 1979-1981
    8. Sadat on the World Stage
    Primary Sources and Study Questions
    Further Readings

Featured Resources

For more information on "The World in a Life" series, please visit: https://global.oup.com/ushe/series/5906277/?cc=gb&lang=en.

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