The Rise of an Islamic Mass Movement 1928–1942
by Brynjar Lia
Foreword by Jamal al-Banna
Ithaca Press, 1998
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 school teacher, 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.
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.
Drawing on a wealth of new sources which include British War Office and Foreign Office files, security files from the Egyptian National Archives and the Society’s newspapers and internal publications from the 1930s and early 1940s, this book also makes extensive use of the memories and personal letters of Muslim Brother veterans. The author has spent many years in Egypt interviewing old and younger members of this influential society.” [Palestine Times No.86 August, 1998]