In this week’s New Yorker

July 20, 2013

new yorker 7-22 cover
Three major reporting stories dominate: Rachel Louise Snyder’s very detailed, very upsetting, very informative article, “A Raised Hand,” about domestic violence and a tool that social service agencies have developed to successfully gauge the level of risk for lethal attacks by deranged partners (mostly husbands); “The Beach Builders,” John Seabrook’s fascinating story about how the Jersey Shore has been repeatedly repaired after storm damage, most recently after Hurricane Sandy; and Peter Hessler’s Letter from Cairo, which really helped me figure out how to understand the ouster of President Morsi and the current state of affairs in Egypt and educated me about Tamarrod, the inspiring ad hoc grass-roots political movement that managed to oust Morsi with phenomenal speed. Hessler’s lengthy report capitalizes on little glimpses I’ve absorbed — reading in an email recently about how the Muslim Brotherhood attempted to shut down Egypt’s opera houses and ballet companies — and accompanies George Packer’s lead editorial, which succinctly encapsulates the existential crisis that Egyptian politics faces. “The core political problem in Egypt,” writes Packer, “is one that almost always arises from years of dictatorship: a culture of suspicion and confrontation, a mentality of winner-take-all. Islamists and secular-minded Egyptians regard one another as obstacles to power, not as legitimate players in a complex game that requires inclusion and consensus…Nothing good will come of the overthrow of Morsi’s bad government if Egypt’s next transition doesn’t find a place for all of the country’s legitimate factions.”

 

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