TOLEDANO, E. R.,
State and Society in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Egypt.
Cambridge University Press, 2003. 336p. Paperback. Series: Cambridge Middle East Library, 22. Previous studies of nineteenth-century Egypt have often been premature in identifying the existence of an independent nation state. In a way which will permanently affect our view of Egyptian history, this book argues that in the mid-nineteenth-century period Egypt was still an Ottoman province, with a provincial Ottoman elite which was only gradually becoming Egyptian. Part one discusses the creation of a dynastic order in Egypt, especially under Abbas Pasa (1848-1854), and the formation of an Ottoman-Egyptian ruling class. Part two deals with the non-elite groups, the vast majority of Egypt's population. A final chapter offers a convincing picture of the social and cultural life of the period in a way which has never before been attempted in a Middle East context. The author's valuable knowledge of Ottoman and Arabic as well as European documents and his use of a wide variety of sources, including police and court records, chronicles and travel literature, have enabled him to make an important contribution to a neglected period of Egyptian history and indeed to our understanding of other provinces and dependencies in the region. (Publisher's information).