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List of Illustrations; List of Abbreviations; Acknowledgments; Note on Transliteration; Introduction; 1. The "Ever-Melting" City; 2. Department Stores and Downtown Shopping; 3. Anticolonial Boycotts and National Trade; 4. Socks, Shoes, and Marketing Mass Consumption; 5. Postwar Commodity Parables and the Crackingof Late Colonialism; 6. The Cairo Fire and Postcolonial Consumption; Conclusion; Epilogue; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
Though now remembered as an act of anti-colonial protest leading to the Egyptian military coup of 1952, the Cairo Fire that burned through downtown stores and businesses appeared to many at the time as an act of urban self-destruction and national suicide. The logic behind this latter view has now been largely lost. Offering a revised history, Nancy Reynolds looks to the decades leading up to the fire to show that the lines between foreign and native in city space and commercial merchandise were never so starkly drawn. Consumer goods occupied an uneasy place on anti-colonial agendas for decades.
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