In This Review

By David Hirst and Irene Beeson
Faber and Faber, 1982, 383 pp

Two British journalists well versed in the affairs of the Middle East, and especially Egypt, present a portrait of Sadat completely at variance with that currently in vogue in the West. Going through the successive stages of the remarkable career in which "Nasser's donkey" made himself the absolute ruler of Egypt and, in the eyes of the Western world, the great statesman of the age, they recognize his talents-boldness, courage and a long view, along with cleverness, mastery of tactics, and a genius for self-promotion-but are harsh in judging his record, especially at home. And in a judgment many will find unfair, they see even his peacemaking as a disservice to peace. The picture is overdrawn, yes, but so was Sadat's public-relations picture of himself which so many accepted.