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The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In

  • ISBN13: 9780306817403
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description

In this engaging history, world-renowned historian Hugh Kennedy deftly sews together the stories of the people, armies, and events that conquered an area from Spain to China in just over 100 years.

The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In


  1. Hugh Kennedy provides a fresh approach to historiography in this masterful study. In addition to his vivid description of the formative establishment of the early Islamic caliphate, Kennedy goes beyond a simple narrative of the main events; he investigates the “permanence of the effect” the Arab Muslim conquest had on the language and faith of the conquered territories. In his last chapter entitled “Voices of the Comquered,” Kennedy addresses the impact and reactions of the people subjugated by the conquerors. Chritians, Jews, and Zoroastrians are given voices, the most striking of which is the variety of responses to the advent of the Arab Muslim rule.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Very thorough history of Moslem conquest of the middle east in the approx 200 years after death of Muhammad in 632 AD. Can be slow reading but is very informative. Full records of events are scant and author acknowledges this. Explains the rapid conquest of a hige area and population as a unique historical fluke which caught the Byzantines, Persians, and other established powers at a weak time.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. ‘The Great Arab Conquests’ is not exactly a primer if you don’t know much about early Arabic Muslim history (which I don’t).

    The flow of narrative is really held back by the fact that it is very hard to make any definitive statements about this period, due to the lack of (at least relatively) source material. Everything has a ‘this may have happened around such a century, or it may not’ bent to it. I can’t blame the author for this, but nonetheless makes it a difficult read at times.

    The last couple of chapters, which discuss the view of those conquered by the flashflood of the Arab armies, as well as the reasons for the swift Arabic conquests, are worth holding out for.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  4. A very clear and superb description of the Arab arrival into the Mediterranean area and into Central Asia as far as Samarkand.

    Divided into intependent chapters according to the waves of occupation of various parts of the Eastern Empire, with a clear explanation of why this conquest met such a fast success and why the Eastern Empire and Sassanian Persia were in no condition to oppose resistance.

    A book that is a must for persons interested in this period
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Buyer beware – this book is old style military history. The author gives a blow by blow account of a long, long series of wars and battles. Serious students of military history will be fascinated. But anyone primarily interested in the political or cultural aspects of the Arab conquest should look elsewhere.
    Rating: 3 / 5


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