Hesham Al-Awadi argues that the growing impact of the Muslim Brotherhood on Egyptian politics and society is part of the movement's struggle to gain official legitimacy since its ban in 1954. The movement's remarkable presence in syndicates, student unions, investment companies and parliament was the outcome of its highly organised structure, consolidated during the earlier years of Mubarak. Although the Brotherhood failed to secure the recognition of the state, they did secure a degree of informal legitimacy, based on their services to middle class beneficiaries. This 'social' legitimacy was soon employed politically against the regime as Mubarak, haunted by the sudden rise of Islamists in Algeria and his failure to legitimate his leadership, was impelled to revoke his policies in the nineties. 'In Pursuit of Legitimacy' is a lucid and original book which shows the paradox of a movement that wishes to compete within the political system on an equal basis to other parties, yet which is prevented from doing so by an autocratic regime which attempts to make a virtue of its close links with Western democratic governments.