**NAMED NEW YORK TIMES "100 Notable Books of 2017"**
“Generation Revolution is an excellent social history of Egypt’s persistent pathologies, as well as a universal story about the difficulties of changing deeply ingrained societal attitudes.” – New York Times Book Review
Generation Revolution unravels the complex forces shaping the lives of four young Egyptians on the eve and in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and what their stories mean for the future of the Middle East.
In 2003 Rachel Aspden arrived in Egypt as a 23-year-old journalist. She found a country on the brink of change. The two-thirds of Egypt’s eight million citizens under the age of 30 were stifled, broken, and frustrated, caught between a dictatorship that had nothing to offer them and their autocratic parents’ generation, defined by tradition and obedience.
In January 2011 the young people’s patience ran out. They thought the revolution that followed would change everything. But as violence escalated, the economy collapsed, and as the united front against President Mubarak shattered into sectarianism, many found themselves at a loss.
Following the stories of four young Egyptians — Amr, the atheist software engineer; Amal, the village girl who defied her family and her entire community; Ayman, the one-time religious extremist; and Ruqayah, the would-be teenage martyr — Generation Revolution exposes the failures of the Arab Spring and shines new light on those left in the wake of its lost promise.
British journalist Aspden, who lived in Cairo from 2003 to 2004 and from 2011 until 2015, shows Egypt's recent revolution through the eyes of the young people who demanded it, fought for it, and suffered most from its eventual failure. Weaving in dramatic moments of Egypt's recent past with vivid depictions of its contemporary culture, Aspden uses her subjects' candid narratives to reveal how the pressures of a corrupt state, a stagnating economy, a restless and disenfranchised youth, the repression of women, and the infiltration of Western innovations such as the Internet led Egyptians to erupt into revolt. Using the same gritty narrative technique, she draws a horrifying picture of the consequences of the 2011 revolution, notably the military coup of 2013 that led to tragic loss of life and plunged the country into worse crime, repression, discontent, and fear. Her insights into trends such as the groundswell of religious conservatism are sound yet concise. Despite the hopelessness and demoralization that prevail in her conclusion, she holds out hope that Egypt's young people will again see a path to freedom. The book offers a sobering but necessary education in "the intractable suffering in the region" that Western countries can no longer afford to ignore.