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A History of the Arab People: Second Edition

Product Description
Upon its publication in 1991, Albert Hourani’s masterwork was hailed as the definitive story of Arab civilization, and became both a bestseller and an instant classic. In a panoramic view encompassing twelve centuries of Arab history and culture, Hourani brilliantly illuminated the people and events that have fundamentally shaped the Arab world. Now this seminal book is available in an expanded second edition. Noted Islamic scholar Malise Ruthven brings the story… More >> A History of the Arab Peoples: Second Edition


  1. I read the negative review of one listed reviewer who said he took two months to read the book. Two Months!!!!! I read it in two days! This book is a very good maybe even better than good book about the Arab peoples. I am a novice at all this history so I still don’t firmly comprehend it all, but this book was a great introduction. I can build on the knowledge I gained in this book and read more indepth books and articles later. I highly recommend this book and it may be more comprehensible if you read it faster. I hardly think you have to do it in two days, but two months??????!!!!!! Rating: 5 / 5

  2. What a tedious read!!! Where is the history of Suleyman The Great?! Did the crusades happen?! Did America ever do anything in Tripoli?! Do women exist in the modern Muslim world?!!!

    While being extremely detailed about historical social practices and religious thought, Hourani left out key historical periods.

    If you want to come to better understanding of Arab society, I am sure that you can find a more concise book that does not neglect / ignore key world events. Rating: 1 / 5

  3. I don’t mean to say this is a bad book, but if you like history to be about the interaction of personalities and events, as I do, this book isn’t for you. Reading it was a very long slog that finally picked up in the last 100 pages or so when we got to the post-WWII era. I read this book, which had been on my shelf for a long time, because I saw in the NY Times that Bin Laden and many other radical Arabs are obsessed by their history. Unfortunately, this book did not help me understand that history, and I learned more in the 3 hour PBS “Islam” special the other night than in a month of reading this.

    One other complaint: the book could have really used a glossary. There is an index of Arabic terms, but it is irritating to have to search through a page of text to try to glean a definition–that may or may not be buried in the referenced passage. Rating: 2 / 5

  4. This well organized book is a real gem. I used this personally as a reference for many of my songs and personal books. You better think about it baby, cause it’s certainly worthy. Rating: 5 / 5


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