Many of Egypt's intelligentsia had predicted widespread rural violence and even the possibility of a social revolution, when Nasser's land reform of 1952 was finally revoked in October 1997. Why did this not happen? In this stimulating account of village politics and the struggle for land, Caroline Tingay shows that there were multiple and often conflicting interests at stake surrounding Mubarak's new tenancy law, which cannot be simplified into an issue of 'winners' versus 'losers'. She suggests that the high levels of interdependency which form the basis of rural tenancy networks, together with the repressive mechanisms put into place by a brutal state apparatus; would never have allowed for the development of collective action in the Egyptian countryside. Indeed her study illustrates that the so-called threat of rural revolt was little more than a convenient excuse for local power brokers to reassert their personal claims to authority, while they were in effect the main instigators of violent action. This book takes the reader right into the heart of village life in today's Egypt for a detailed and anecdotal account of conflict dynamics at the micro level. It is of great interest for anyone working in the MENA region and in the field of land reform.