Telling a new story of modern Egypt, Mohammad Salama uses textual and cinematic sources to construct a clear and accessible narrative of the dynamics of Islam and culture in the first half of the twentieth century. The conflict between tradition and secular values in modern Egypt is shown in a stimulating and challenging new light as Salama bridges analysis of nationalism and its connection to Islamism, and outlines the effects of secular education versus traditional Islamic teaching on varied elements of Egyptian society. These include cultural production, politics, economic, identity, and gender relations. All of this helps to discern the harbingers that led to Egypt's social transition from the monarchy to the republic and opens the possibility of Islam as an inspiring and inspirational force. This illuminating, provocative and informative study will be of use to anyone interested in the period, whether general readers, students, or researchers.