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Dubai Books

History of the Arabs, Revised: 10th Edition

Product Description
This authoritative study of the Arabians and the Arabic-speaking peoples is a valuable source of information on Arab history. Suitable for both scholars and the general reader, it unrolls one of the richest and most instructive panoramas in history, telling with insight the story of the rise of Islam in the Middle Ages, its conquests, its empire, its time of greatness and of decay. For this revised tenth edition, Walid Khalidi’s timely preface emphasises that now, more than ever, this magisterial work is of vital importance to the on-going attempts to bridge the Arab/Western cultural divide.

History of the Arabs, Revised: 10th Edition


  1. History of the arabs, the name seems quite unique, as there can be history of a race or a history of a time or history of third reich or saracens etc etc

    once a history book is written i wonder what is in there to be edited 10 times? what prompted so many changes?? reprinting is ok

    As the author points out that the book has been written in response to ‘a short history of saracens’ by Ammer Ali which as per him stands ‘obsolete’it is not known why.

    references to the holy quran mentioned in the book are not correct

    pp 99———2;100 is there instead on 106


    pp 99————2:100 …………….2:105

    the verse is regarding the abrogation of a verse and revealing a better or a similar one which the author has mis interpreted and gave an oblique view of it

    pp103——–47:16,17 is there instead of 47:15

    knowledge and interpretation of the quran of the author are excellent but oftenly distorted as ..comparing paradise to a place in arabia (taif)


    “in art and architecture, in philosophy, in medicene, in science and literature, in governement, the ‘original arabians’ had nothing to teach and everything to learn”

    further he states

    “In ctesiphon, edessa,nisibis, damascus, jerusalem,etc etc they (arabs) viewed and copied the work of architect, the artisan, the jeweller and the manufacturer”

    not a single non moslem architect, jeweller etc has been named

    chapter 21

    the invaders from the desert brought with them no tradition of learning, no heritage of culture?? to the lands they conquered

    (this is incorrect)

    the comparison of the quranic verses to the ‘old testament’ is excellent

    the author has laid immense stress in depicting the words in the quran are ‘borrowed’ from old testament and formerly holy books

    hittians are a very old tribe in the arab land and to this day regret their ancestors converting to Islam excepting a very few who are now the druzes and maronites in the lebanon

    the author being orthodox christian has attributed the fall of syria iraq eygpt etc to the internal squabbles in the countries and their religion (christianity) rather than the sacrificing spirits of the saracens at that time

    the author no doubt has done ample research to write the book, but a history of a race cannot be written in a few hundred pages,

    the author could have done a better job had he been non parochial and not confined his clientele to a selected few as the the comments have been indicated by New York times, as if for a novel or a fiction by some sundry author
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. I have to give the author credit for research and hard work. Unfortunately I was hoping that when an author writes in the title of his book “History”, we will find history without personnal opinions. Every now and then when he gets a chance to misrepresent Islam he does it in a very subtle way. Writing about previous History should be far from emotional and personal feelings, otherwise call the book my view about Arabs. This was also mentioned by a previous reviewer who listed a couple of mispresentations from the Quran. I studied the Area and the Quran so I do have some background, and I would hate for anyone to get a misrepresented History of this Area and Time period from this book.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. My Experience so far in reading and understanding other people’s religious beliefs has increase tremendously, it i always good to be versatile so as to keep up. The book “History of the Arabs” has helped to understand beyond all mediocre readings.

    Thanks for availing me the opportunity of buying at my finger tips.

    Warm Regards

    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. This is one of the best popular works about the Arabs. Given that it was written several decades ago, many attitudes have been disproven and new research has added to our understanding, but the overwhelming majority of this book is still valid. It is written in an acedemic and readable manner. This is Philip Hitti’s magnum opus, and it is a great one.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I sympathize with reviewers who were offended by this book. There are, especially towards the beginning of the book, some generalizations that make me wince. And Hitti’s vocabulary is full of obsolete ethnographic and anthropological terms that raise ugly associations with colonial racial ideas. Hitti wrote with the simplicity of scholars before multiculturalism and postmodernism, for whom the peoples of the world were specimens to be analyzed without regard to cultural sensitivity. Other scholars with encyclopedic knowledge of the Arabic peoples from Hitti’s time were prone to generalizations: H. G. Farmer, who wrote the definitive book on Arabian music, was prone to say things like “As with all the Semites . . .”

    But while Hitti may not have the cultural sensitivity of today’s writers, his depth of knowledge is astonishing, and he writes beautifully. Where Hourani tells us relatively vaguely how things happened over centuries, Hitti shows us the singers of Medina, the philosophers of Baghdad, the slaves of Persia. Where Hourani’s book is a good history, Hitti’s book is also a work of art. Yes, be advised that Hitti’s work is riddled with obsolete ideas, but also be aware that the very richness of his account argues against any stereotypes that he might have professed.
    Rating: 4 / 5


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