Chapter 1: The Power of Invisible Hands
1. On organizational and other forms of power see Wolf 1999, 4–6.
2. Here the reader might compare my findings with those of Michael Taussig
(1980) in a quite di√erent ethnographic setting, in South America.
3. The reader will have noticed here that the debate of this time was about ‘‘free
trade,’’ not the ‘‘free market.’’ The story of the shift from free trade to the free market
as the object of political debate is not one that I can pursue here.
4. For some of the most influential accounts of the economic history of Egypt see
Owen 1969, Owen 1981, Issawi 1963, Landes 1958, Davis 1983, and from the point
of view of labor history, Beinin and Lockman 1987. For an important collection
that opened new paths to research on labor history in the Middle East see Lockman
ed. 1994.
5. For a critique of this perspective from the labor historian of Egypt whose
seminal work on the Egyptian working class helped consolidate images of large
industry as the site of the economy, see Lockman ed. 1994.
6. For classic statements of this view see Raymond 1958, Baer 1964, Baer 1969. For
a critique of this assumption, and evidence that the assumption of decay and back-
wardness is wrong, see Chalcraft 2004.
7. But for discussion of the exceptions among writers in the French language,
both locals and foreigners, who argued for the need to revive local crafts, see Kop-
tiuch 1994. For an important analysis of the elision of crafts and then their recasting
as the informal economy see Koptiuch 1999.
8. Pierre Bourdieu uses the term ‘‘field of power’’ in Bourdieu 1999, 58. For my
own use of the term see Elyachar 2003. Ali (2002) reveals the interaction of the state,
ngos, ios, and local practices in Egypt in the social field of family planning.
9. On the notion of ‘‘the field’’ see Gupta and Ferguson 1997, Koptiuch 1999, 46–
48. On the history of anthropology, including the so-called Malinowskian revolu-
tion, see Vincent 1990, Gupta and Ferguson 1997.
10. This propensity to truck, barter, and exchange is actually not the only explana-
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