I began my serious study of Islam and Islamic societies as a graduate student at Harvard in the mid-1960s. With the course work for my doctorate completed, I set out in 1968 to engage the world I was studying at one of the West’s great learning centers. My preparation, or so I thought, was excellent. In my course work I drew on the proud Gibb legacy of Islamic studies at Harvard, represented for me by Nadav Safran, a student of Gibb and then a leading figure in Middle Eastern studies. To this work in the classics I married what I took to be the best of the new social scientific studies in modernization. In Safran’s courses I began my reading in the burgeoning ‘development’ literature focused on the Middle East. My major guide, though, was Samuel Huntington who became my academic mentor and thesis advisor. Huntington was exceptionally well known even then as a major conservative intellectual. I had prepared myself to witness the intellectual, moral, economic, and political transformation of backward societies into modernized states, or so the syllabi encouraged us to believe. Egypt, as the lead society in the Arab world, would be my case study in political development and my vantage point from which to witness up close this march of history.