The Pasha's Peasants: Land, Society and Economy in Lower Egypt, 1740–1858

Kenneth M. Cuno

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


This is a pathbreaking study of the rural origins of modern Egypt, dealing with the period of the rise of the modern state and the country's incorporation into the world economy. Professor Cuno uses previously underexploited sources - court records, fatwas, and land tax registers - to shed new light on changes in the system of peasant land tenure, urban-rural commerce, the rural social structure, and the interplay of formal law with peasant customs and attitudes. The author refutes the conventional view of modern Egyptian history, and indeed many other studies of 'modernization' in the non-Western world. The traditional thesis argues that intensified contact with Europe brought on the 'awakening' of the modern nation. Cuno, on the other hand, convincingly demonstrates that the rise of cash-crop agriculture, the commoditisation of land, the concept of private property, and the appearance of a stratified rural society were actually centuries-old features of the Egyptian countryside.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages295
ISBN (Print)9780521404785
StatePublished - Feb 1993

Publication series

NameCambridge Middle East Library


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